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Accid Anal Prev. 2004 Nov;36(6):1099-103.

Long term medical costs of motor vehicle casualties in Alberta (1999): a population-based, incidence approach.

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  • 1Institute of Health Economics, University of Alberta #1200-10405 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4, Alta., Canada.


The purpose of this paper is to estimate the long term medical costs attributable to motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) for all persons in Alberta, Canada in 1999, primarily using observational data. Injury claims with personal identifiers for 1999 were reported by the automobile insurance companies. These records were linked to the provincial health registry which covers the entire population. The registry is linked to databases which identify all inpatient and outpatient (including emergency room) visits, physician services, and other health records. Utilization and costs were derived for all casualties who were admitted to hospital or seen in an emergency room, and for a large sample of other (low severity) cases; a sample of matched controls was derived and their costs were also estimated. Actual costs were obtained for 3 years, and longer term costs were projected for subsequent years. Total costs attributable to MVAs were estimated at over $117 million for 1999. Average net costs per casualty, reported by severity group, were: $22.9 thousand for hospital cases; $3.6 thousand for emergency room-only cases; and $157 for other cases. Long term costs were 65% of first year costs for hospitalized cases and 250% for emergency room cases. Overall, aggregate costs for all non-hospital cases exceeded those for hospitalized cases.

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