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Overtriage of Trauma Patients Costly, On the Rise

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 17, 2010

The authors concluded that the expense "represents a significant cost for government-sponsored medical evacuations and the consumer," but added that secondary overtriage "may be seen as revenue-generating" from the perspective of the hospitals.

"This high cost per overtriaged patient does not reflect the indirect costs the consumer incurs in returning to their home after an unnecessary transfer and discharge.

"Indeed, overtriage may be most inefficient for those who are transferred from large catchment areas, because it is difficult and costly for patients and their families to return home from the hospital," they wrote.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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