Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-57

Costs and Characteristics of Undocumented Immigrants Brought to a Trauma Center by Border Patrol Agents in Southern Texas

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, CHRISTUS Spohn/Texas A and M Health Science Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
3 Department of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Peter B Richman
Department of Emergency Medicine, CHRISTUS Spohn/Texas A&M Health Science Center, Dr Xu is from Texas Tech University, 600 Elizabeth St, 9B, Corpus Christi, Texas 78404
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_29_18

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Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the costs, characteristics, and outcomes of patients brought to a Texas trauma center emergenct department after apprehension by Border Patrol (BP)/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BP/ICE). Materials and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a trauma registry/financial records (1/1/11-12/31/14). Data were extracted utilizing a structured form. A multivariate ordinary least square was estimated to identify variables associated with hospital charges. Results: A total of 128 patients were enrolled as the study group; mean age was 28.6 ± 6 years, 20.3% were female, 100% were Hispanic, the most common mechanism of injury (MOI) was motor vehicle crash (75%), and mean charge was $162,152 ± $295,441. Mean length of stay (LOS) was 13.2 ± 29.8 days; 92.2% survived to discharge. Bivariate analysis revealed that MOI differed by gender (P = 0.021). In the multivariate analysis, the only variable that associated with increased charge was LOS. Total charges for the 128 patients were $20.6M, total costs were $4.5M, and total payments were $0.99M. Conclusions: Undocumented immigrants apprehended by BP/ICE and brought to our trauma center utilized significant health-care resources.

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