Traumatic injury raises risk for medical debt, bankruptcy for insured patients

Commercially insured adults who sustain traumatic injuries are at increased risk of medical debt and bankruptcy, a study published in JAMA Health Forum found. 

The study, published Nov. 11, linked Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan claims to credit reports to determine financial outcomes for patients who were treated for a traumatic injury between 2019 and 2021. 

The study's authors, affiliated with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found patients who were hospitalized with traumatic injuries were 23 percent more likely to have medical debt in collection compared to their counterparts who did not sustain these injuries. 

These patients were also twice as likely to file for bankruptcy than the general population, according to the study. 

Their findings, the authors wrote, are consistent with previous research findings that out-of-pocket deductible costs can be unaffordable for insured patients. 

Read the full study here.

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