Susan Schmunk, CSTR, CAISS
Amino is a company focused on healthcare that fits your budget. They recently looked at medical billing records nationwide and noted that nearly 1 out of 6 patients in their database were diagnosed with a physical injury. This prompted them to take a closer look and group injury codes and give them common names. Thus, instead of 38 different kinds of “contusion” based on ICD-10 injury codes in their database they grouped them together under “bruising.” According to their database, “bruising” or “open wound” are the most frequent injury diagnoses in every state except Colorado, where “fall” is the most common. If you are interested in more detailed information on the methods they used to formulate their data, you can learn more on the Amino blog. Then they wanted to know what the most distinctive injury was in each state, which is illustrated in a map over on STAT that can be accessed as part of this article.
Amino then went on to outline some wide-ranging trends based on this data. They noted the frequency of the group they labeled “suffocation” based on coding related to oxygen deficiency in six of the eight Mountain States: Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The “suffocation” group ranged from 1.8 times more frequent (in Idaho) when compared to the national distribution, to 3.1 times more frequent (in Utah) among all six states. While Amino doesn’t draw any conclusions from the high rates of “suffocation” diagnoses, they did note that the majority of these diagnoses related to hypoxemia, which can be caused by exertion at high altitudes.
Another finding noted by this group was the increased number of concussions found in Massachusetts. In 2016, Blue Shield reported on the steep rise in concussion diagnoses in the United States. According to this study, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts had the highest rates of concussion diagnoses for patients ages 10 through 19 in 2015.