Purpose: To determine the trends and disparities in inpatient costs for eye trauma in the United States from 2001 through 2014. Design: Retrospective population-based cross-sectional study. Methods: National Inpatient Sample, a representative sample of U.S. hospital discharges, was used to determine costs of eye trauma hospitalizations. Linear regression was used to estimate changes in mean inflation-adjusted cost per admission. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with a cost in the highest quartile (>$13 000) including age, sex, race, income quartile, primary payer, hospital location, size, and type. The model was adjusted for year of admission, length of stay, type of trauma, comorbidities, and the type and number of procedures performed. Results: The inpatient costs for eye trauma from 2001 through 2014 totaled $1.72 billion. The mean cost (95% confidence interval [CI]) per stay remained relatively constant: $12 000 ($11 000-13 000) in 2001 to $11 000 ($10 000-12 000) in 2014 (P =.643). A cost in the highest quartile was more likely in African Americans compared to whites (adjusted odds ratio, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5), patients in the highest income quartile compared to those in the lowest (1.3; 1.2-1.5), uninsured patients compared to publicly insured patients (1.2; 1.1-1.4), teaching hospitals compared to non-teaching ones (1.5; 1.2-1.8), and the West compared to the South (2.4; 2.0-2.8). Conclusions: Inpatient costs of eye trauma have remained steady and can be potentially reduced by addressing associated disparities. Further research including outpatient costs and eye trauma in vulnerable populations will be key to optimizing care and advancing healthcare equity.
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