Background: Trauma care is expensive and more so for the hospitals not subsidized by the government, as is the case in developing countries. In this study, the burden of trauma care on a typical Level I trauma center in Turkey was investigated.
Methods: Medical, demographic, and financial records of trauma patients who were hospitalized in the calendar year of 1996 were analyzed.
Results: A total of 347 patients had complete data available for analysis. The mean Injury Severity Score was 13.3+/-0.5. Total hospital charges and charges per patient were $547,391 and $1,577, respectively. There was a positive correlation between the Injury Severity Score and the hospital charges. Although 54.2% of the patients were self-payer and the rest (45.8%) had some form of a health insurance, 5.5% ($30,496) of total hospital charges of these 347 trauma patients could not be collected by the hospital.
Conclusion: Trauma care is expensive and reimbursement is not always possible, but the hospital's nonreimbursed money was within tolerable limits, and the overall financial balance of the hospital from the trauma care was on the positive side, even in the absence of government subsidy.