A JAMA Pediatrics study recently aimed to explore the impact of state legislation on healthcare utilization for children with concussion. The study indicates that children with concussion had increased healthcare utilization, which appears to be directly and indirectly related to concussion legislation. In the study, Teresea B. Gibson, PhD, of Truven Health Analytics, Ann Arbor, Mich, and co-authors reportedly investigated the impact of concussion laws on healthcare utilization rates by commercially insured children (aged 12 to 18 years old) from January 2006 through June 2012 in states with and without legislation.

The results suggest that between the academic school years 2008 to 2009, and 2011 to 2012, states with legislation saw a 92% increase in concussion-related healthcare utilization, while states without legislation experience a 75% overall increase in concussion-related utilization.

A release from The JAMA Network Journals states that authors go on to estimate that 60% of the increase in treated concussion in states without laws resulted from the continuing trend of increasing healthcare utilization established before the first law was passed. While the sources for the remaining 40% increase in utilization were not evaluated, the authors indicate it is the result of increased awareness regarding injury and concussion-related legislation in other states because of media coverage.

The study concludes that concussion legislation has had a “seemingly positive effect on health care utilization, but the overall increase can also be attributed to increased injury awareness.”

[Source(s): The JAMA Network Journals, EurekAlert]