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Cost of Treating Pressure Ulcers for Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury

Stroupe KT, Manheim LM, Evans (Mayfield) C, Guihan M, Ho C, Li K, Cowper Ripley DC, Hogan TP, St. Andre JR, Huo Z, Smith BM. Cost of Treating Pressure Ulcers for Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury. Topics in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. 2011 Apr 1; 16(4):62-73.

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Veterans comprise almost 17% of the 250,000 persons with spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D) in the United States. Pressure ulcers are common complications of SCI/D. We compared annual healthcare utilization and costs between Veterans with and without pressure ulcers in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Veterans with pressure ulcers had more total inpatient days on average (61.00 vs. 9.19; P < 0.001) and higher total healthcare costs ($100,935 vs. $27,914; P < 0.001) due primarily to higher inpatient costs ($91,341 vs. $13,754; P < 0.05). Our results highlight the need to identify patients at risk for pressure ulcers who could benefit from targeted skin care management interventions.

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