Hidden Costs of Hospitalization After Firearm Injury: National Analysis of Different Hospital Readmission

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To compare the risk factors and costs associated with readmission after firearm injury nationally, including different hospitals.


No national studies capture readmission to different hospitals after firearm injury.


The 2013 to 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database was queried for patients admitted after firearm injury. Logistic regression identified risk factors for 30-day same and different hospital readmission. Cost was calculated. Survey weights were used for national estimates.


There were 45,462 patients admitted for firearm injury during the study period. The readmission rate was 7.6%, and among those, 16.8% were readmitted to a different hospital. Admission cost was $1.45 billion and 1-year readmission cost was $131 million. Sixty-four per cent of those injured by firearms were publicly insured or uninsured. Readmission predictors included: length of stay >7 days [odds ratio (OR) 1.43, P < 0.01], Injury Severity Score >15 (OR 1.41, P < 0.01), and requiring an operation (OR 1.40, P < 0.01). Private insurance was a predictor against readmission (OR 0.81, P < 0.01). Predictors of readmission to a different hospital were unique and included: initial admission to a for-profit hospital (OR 1.52, P < 0.01) and median household income ≥$64,000 (OR 1.48, P < 0.01).


A significant proportion of the national burden of firearm readmissions is missed by not tracking different hospital readmission and its unique set of risk factors. Firearm injury-related hospitalization costs $791 million yearly, with the largest fraction paid by the public. This has implications for policy, benchmarking, quality, and resource allocation.

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