Background Racial disparities in mortality exist among pediatric trauma patients; however, little is known about disparities in outcomes following discharge. Methods We conducted a longitudinal cohort study of children admitted for moderate to severe trauma, covered by TRICARE from 2006 to 2014. Patients were followed up to 90 days after discharge. All children <18 years with a primary trauma diagnosis, an Injury Severity Score >9 and 90 days of follow-up after discharge were included. Complications, readmissions and utilization of healthcare services up to 90 days after discharge were compared between Black and White patients. Results Of the 5192 children included, majority were White (74.6%, n = 3871), with 15.4% Black (n = 800) and 10.0% Other (n = 521). Most common injuries involved the extremities or the pelvic girdle followed by the head or neck. Complication and readmission rates were 3.6% and 8.9% within 30 days of discharge respectively and 4.4% and 9.3% within 90 days of discharge. 99.0% of children had at least one outpatient visit by 90 days. After adjusting for patient and injury characteristics no significant differences were detected between Black and White children in outcomes after discharge. Conclusions Universal insurance may help mitigate disparities in post discharge care in pediatric trauma populations by increasing access to outpatient services overall and within each racial group. Further studies are required to determine the appropriate timing and frequency of follow up care in order to achieve maximum reduction in use of acute care services after discharge.
- Healthcare utilization
- Post discharge care