October 1995 Bulletin

Position Statement

Relationships Between Health Care Plans and Trauma Systems

Physical trauma from accidents and violence is a leading medical problem in young Americans. Each year, 57 million citizens are injured, resulting in 155,000 deaths and 2.3 million hospitalizations. Providing high quality, expedient, and cost-effective care to trauma victims is a societal goal, and a challenge to the United States health care system.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes that major trauma victims have the best chance for survival and optimal recovery in American College of Surgeons-verified and/or state-designated trauma centers that work in conjunction with Emergency Medical Systems.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons encourages all health care delivery systems to participate in regional trauma system planning and to integrate their approach to trauma care into trauma centers.

Collaborative relationships between established trauma centers and health care plans can ensure immediate access of all major trauma patients to trauma centers, high quality patient care and timely transfer of patients, equitable reimbursement for the care of trauma patients in trauma centers, and creation of a partnership between health care plans and trauma centers for cost-effective trauma management.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes that representatives of regional trauma planning systems and health care plans should meet and come to agreement on trauma care policies that foster optimal patient care, cost-effectiveness, and effective communication among providers.

August 1995

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