Those who survive severe and traumatic injuries are already forced to deal with physical and emotional turmoil.
But, according to a new study conducted by the University of Michigan, the lasting impact on survivors’ financial health could also be damning.
This finding and more were discovered after researchers analyzed healthcare use data and credit reports from two groups of U.S. adults comprising a total of nearly five thousand and four hundred people.
Both groups consisted of adults between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five who were insured by the same kind of commercial provider but experienced major injuries in different years.
The first “post-injury” group endured hospitalizations during 2019 and early 2020; meanwhile, the second comparison group included people who suffered similar injuries but were hospitalized in 2021– meaning that their credit data was analyzed “pre-injury.”
The average amount of time spent in the hospital among both groups was five days, and this included at least one overnight stay in the intensive care unit for over thirty-three percent of participants.
It was discovered that people who suffered from major injuries within the eighteen months prior to the study’s financial “snapshot” were twenty-three percent more likely to have medical debt go to collections.
These adults also had seventy percent more medical debt in collections as compared to people who suffered injuries following the financial inquiry.
Additionally, even though a low percentage of adults were forced to file for bankruptcy, it was still twice as prevalent among people who were hospitalized for a severe injury over the last year and a half.
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