Thus I Refute Bishop Berkeley

by Dave Schuler on March 20, 2014

According to a recent study published in JAMA trauma patients without insurance received better care than those with insurance. From the authors’ conclusion:

Patients with severe injuries initially evaluated at non-trauma center EDs were less likely to be transferred if insured and were at risk of receiving suboptimal trauma care. Efforts in monitoring and optimizing trauma inter-hospital transfers and outcomes at the population level are warranted.

Hat tip: John Goodman

I would very much like to see how that finding is reconciled with the frequently-encountered claim that it’s impossible to get healthcare without insurance.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Schuler March 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

If you don’t understand the title of this post see this passage from Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

Cstanley March 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

I assume there’s a difference in receiving urgent care for trauma and recieving necessary but non-urgent care.

TastyBits March 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

In larger cities, head for the ER where they take the criminals. Criminals get shot more but usually have no insurance. That ER will tend to have more experience with trauma.

Some of you uptight folks might be a tad bit uncomfortable. You have probably never seen an inmate shackled and handcuffed.

steve March 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Poor example. The insured are being kept because the non trauma hospitals can provide care and get paid. They would often be better off going to a trauma facility. That said, we have provisions already for emergency patients to get care. The issue is what happens to non-emergency patients, and especially what happens in follow up care. (Non-trauma emergency patients are less likely to receive care, BTW.) There are studies that document quite well that trauma patients who have no insurance get significantly worse follow up care. Non-emergency patients without insurance have trouble getting care also. They often wait until there problem is an emergency and then they can get care. (This is old news. Surprised Goodman found it worthy of notice.)


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