Background: In 2015 there were 36,252 firearm-related deaths and 84,997 nonfatal injuries in the United States. The longitudinal burden of these injuries through readmissions is currently underestimated. We aimed to determine the 6-month readmission risk and hospital costs for patients injured by firearms.
Methods: We used the Nationwide Readmission Database 2010-2015 to assess the frequency of readmissions at 6 months, and hospital costs associated with readmissions for patients with firearm-related injuries. We produced nationally representative estimates of readmission risks and costs.
Results: Of patients discharged following a firearm injury, 15.6% were readmitted within 6 months. The average annual cost of inpatient hospitalizations for firearm injury was over $911 million, 9.5% of which was due to readmissions. Medicare and Medicaid covered 45.2% of total costs for the 5 years, and uninsured patients were responsible for 20.1%.
Conclusions: From 2010-2015, the average total cost of hospitalization for firearm injuries per patient was $32,700, almost 10% of which was due to readmissions within 6 months. Government insurance programs and the uninsured shouldered most of this.