Healthcare Utilization Following Traumatic Brain Injury in a Large National Sample

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 May-Jun 01;36(3):E147-E154. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000625.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on healthcare utilization (HCU) over a 1-year period in a large national sample of individuals diagnosed with TBI across multiple care settings.

Setting: Commercial insurance enrollees.

Participants: Individuals with and without TBI, 2008-2014.

Design: Retrospective cohort.

Main measures: We compared the change in the 12-month sum of inpatient, outpatient, emergency department (ED), and prescription HCU from pre-TBI to post-TBI to the same change among a non-TBI control group. Most rehabilitation visits were not included. We stratified models by age ≥65 and included the month of TBI in subanalysis.

Results: There were 207 354 individuals in the TBI cohort and 414 708 individuals in the non-TBI cohort. Excluding the month of TBI diagnosis, TBI resulted in a slight increase in outpatient visits (rate ratio [RtR] = 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.06) but decrease in inpatient HCU (RtR = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.84-0.88). Including the month of TBI in the models resulted in increased inpatient (RtR = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.52-1.58) and ED HCU (RtR = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.34-1.40).

Conclusion: In this population of individuals who maintained insurance coverage following TBI, results suggest that TBI may have a limited impact on nonrehabilitation HCU at the population level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / therapy
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies