Trauma finance is not a dirty word

Authored by: Angie Chisolm, MBA, BSN, RN, CFRN, TCRN, Managing Partner

Is your hospital optimizing its trauma revenue opportunities? What is your initial reaction to this question? Critics have claimed that trauma centers are inappropriately charging extraordinarily high fees for the cost of trauma team readiness. We encourage hospitals to set their fees to offset the burdensome cost of trauma care readiness, for which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revenue codes were intended. In order to adequately care for patients with injuries, hospitals need to be able to cover the cost of readiness.

The cost of trauma care readiness is extraordinary for hospitals. A team of experienced and well-trained clinicians and specialists who are ready and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is expensive. And some injuries are so simple yet can be life or limb threatening and not identified until a full workup is completed. Sometimes a patient is found not to have any life or limb threatening injuries despite a mechanism that should have caused it. The only way to ensure no intervention is needed to save someone’s life or limb is to organize a team of clinicians and specialists to fully evaluate the suspicion of injury.

Access to trauma care is critical to patient survival. Trauma centers must balance their high operational costs with a fair and justifiable framework to charge for trauma care. Is your trauma center optimizing its trauma revenue opportunity? Let us help you identify the possibilities.