Disparities in Insurance Status are Associated With Outcomes But Not Timing of Trauma Care

Paolo de Angelis, Elinore J. Kaufman, Philip S. Barie, Nicole E. Leahy, Robert J. Winchell, Mayur Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patient factors influence outcomes after injury. Delays in care have a crucial impact. We investigated the associations between patient characteristics and timing of transfer from the emergency department to definitive care. Methods: This was a review of adult trauma patients treated between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018. Bivariate analyses were used to build Cox proportional hazards models. We built separate logistic and negative binomial regression models for secondary outcomes using mixed-step selection to minimize the Akaike information criterion c. Results: A total of 1219 patients were included; 68.5% were male, 56.8% White, 11.2% Black, and 7.8% Asian/Pacific Islander. The average age was 51 ± 21 y. Overall, 13.7% of patients were uninsured. The average length of stay was 5 d and mortality was 5.9%. Shorter transfer time out of the emergency department was associated with higher tier of activation (relative risk [RR] 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.77; P = 0.0074), Injury Severity Score between 16 and 24 points (RR 1.57, 95% CI 1.04-2.32; P = 0.0307) or ≥25 (RR 3.85, 95% CI 2.45-5.94; P = 0.0001), and penetrating injury. Longer time to event was associated with Glasgow coma scale score ≥14 points (RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.27-0.85; P = 0.0141). Uninsured patients were less likely to be admitted (odds ratio 0.29, 95% CI 0.17-0.48; P = 0.0001) and more likely to experience shorter length of stay (incidence rate ratio 0.34, 95% CI 0.24-0.51; P = 0.0001). Conclusions: Injury characteristics and insurance status were associated with patient outcomes in this retrospective, single-center study. We found no disparity in timing of intrafacility transfer, perhaps indicating that initial management protocols preserve equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-246
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Disparities
  • Insurance status
  • Intrafacility transfer
  • Trauma activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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