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Research Letter
June 4, 2019

Prevalence and Payments for Traumatic Injury Compared With Common Acute Diseases by Episode of Care in Medicare Beneficiaries, 2008-2014

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Surgery, Indiana University, Indianapolis
JAMA. 2019;321(21):2129-2131. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1146

The burden of traumatic injury among older adults is underappreciated, as it is the predominant cause of death among children and younger adults and therefore often thought to be primarily a disease of the young.1 However, traumatic injury in older adults is increasing in prevalence as the US population ages.2 Older patients present unique care challenges because they have decreased physiologic reserve, have more comorbid conditions, and are at risk of specific complications such as delirium.3 Our objective was to quantify occurrence of and spending on traumatic injury in comparison with other common medical diseases resulting in acute hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries.