This investigation evaluated yearly trends in charges and lengths of stay for patients with brain injury in acute care and rehabilitation settings over a 7 year period. Data was collected from 800 consecutive patients enrolled in four NIDRR Model Systems Traumatic Brain Injury programmes. Acute care daily charges showed almost routine increases, averaging nearly $550 per year. Conversely, lengths of stay generally showed a downward trend, with annual reductions averaging 2.25 days. Admission lengths of stay averaged 22-29 days between 1990-1994. Admissions averaged less than 20 days beginning in 1995, with the 1996 average of 16 days, nearly half that of the 1993 average. Between 1990-1996, average daily rehabilitation charges increased each year, with the rise averaging $83 or 7%. The rise in daily rehabilitation charges was offset by corresponding decreases in lengths of stay averaging 3.65 days or 8% annually. Increases in daily charges for brain injury rehabilitation care were roughly comparable to those for general medical care prices. However, the rate of change in acute care charges was substantially greater, with annual increases averaging 10% more than national medical care prices. The steady downward trend in lengths of stay raises serious concerns about the future availability of health care services to persons with brain injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Neurology