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Health Insurance Determines Odds of Surviving Medical Trauma

Researchers have yet to fully determine why, but recent data suggests that people with health insurance are far less likely to die after seeking treatment at one of the nation's trauma centers.

The study, which was featured in the Archives of Surgery, found that patients have an 80 percent higher chance of dying from their traumatic injuries if they are not insured.

Some potential reasons cited by the researchers include possible treatment delays, even if patients are currently protected under laws regarding their rights to emergency care.

Other possible reasons include uninsured people making multiple visits to different emergency rooms before receiving more definitive treatment, lower average rates of health literacy for the uninsured and possible different standards of care between the insured and uninsured.

The researchers also determined that the uninsured have a 25 percent higher risk of mortality in general than insured adults, as well as, typically, a worse health status. This is because the uninsured tend to receive fewer healthcare services, including operations, and they have a higher rate of in-hospital deaths.

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