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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UAB Evaluates Reasons for Healthcare Expenditures Before and After Fracture

Dr. Meredith L. Kilgore, professor and chair of the department of health care organization and policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health – as well as department colleagues Dr. David J. Becker, associate professor, and Dr. Michael A. Morrisey, professor, along with Dr. Elizabeth S. Delzell, professor, and Ms. Tarun Arora, statistician II, of the department of epidemiology – assessed explanations of healthcare expenditures before and after the occurrence of fractures among Medicare beneficiaries. The differences between the two – referred to as “incremental” expenditures – provide an estimate of the potentially avoidable costs associated with fractures. A second estimate of the cost burden – referred to as “attributable” expenditures – was also constructed using only costs recorded in claims with fracture diagnosis codes. Attributable expenditures accounted for only 24 to 60 percent of incremental expenditures, depending on the fracture site.