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Hospital Costs of Firearm Assaults

NCJ Number
Embry M. Howell; Peter Abraham
Date Published
September 2013
16 pages
This study examined the costs of hospital emergency department visits and hospital admissions resulting from firearm assaults.
This study, conducted by the Urban Institute, examined the costs of hospital emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions associated with firearm assaults. Major findings from the study include the following: in 2010, 36,341 ED visits were due to firearm assault injuries, with young males making up the largest percentage of victims; ED usage rates varied by U.S. census region, with higher ED usage rates corresponding to regions with higher reported rates of households with guns; the total firearm assault injury costs for hospitals was just under $630 million in 2010, with over half of those costs incurred for persons on public insurance; and over half of the hospital costs related to firearm assault injuries were incurred by patients living in zip codes that fall in the lowest income quartile while only 7 percent of total costs were incurred by patients living in the wealthiest zip code areas. Data for this study were obtained from a variety of sources: the 2010 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), the 2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), the 2010 U.S. Census, the 2010 American Community Survey, and the University of Michigan's 2006-2010 Median Household Income Chart. The data was analyzed to provide lawmakers with current and accurate information on the costs of firearm assaults following recent high profile incidents of gun violence. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Figures, table, notes, and references