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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Variation in Trauma Team Response Fees in United States Trauma Centers

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Objectives: Investigate the variation of the trauma team response fee (TTRF) among all levels of Trauma Centers (TC) Level I-IV, in different geographic regions in the U.S. (Midwest, West, South, Northeast U.S.).

Background: Investigate Hospital Medical Directors (HMD) and Trauma Medical Directors (TMD) knowledge of TTRF dollar amount in their institution.

Methods:Setting 525 American College of Surgeons verified trauma centers (TC) in the U.S. Level I-IV TCs.TC’s in the continental U.S including Alaska and Hawaii.Data Collection Cross-sectional convenience sample. Online survey development cloud-based software, Survey Monkey.Responses from October 8, 2019 through March 11, 2020.

Results: True costs of TTRF’s in the U.S remains elusive due to inadequate data.  TTRF’s were higher in level II TC’s in the West compared to Level I’s. No statistically significant difference in TTRF’s despite geographical and cost of living differences. 41.3% of HMD are aware of dollar amount of TTRF’s. 56.5% of TMD are aware of dollar amount of TTRF’s.

Conclusion: Transparency in trauma costs is not common practice.Trauma Centers attempts to balance responsible financial billing and maintaining viability is an ongoing concern as trauma costs rise.Limited options are available to offset growing costs.Regulatory and public awareness of these increasing TTRF’s has resulted in a push for transparency Federal and state financial support is needed to aid TC’s to offset growing trauma care costs.Vigilant efforts are needed in patient advocacy to ensure all patients receive quality trauma care with justified associated charges.

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