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Gun violence generates more than $1 billion annually in hospital bills


Adding to the hardship on victims and their families, gun violence injuries in the U.S. cost more than $1 billion each year in initial direct medical costs alone, a federal committee has found.

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee released data this week ahead of a hearing on the economic impact of gun violence that also showed other ancillary effects of mass shootings and gun violence, such as the harm done to local economies due to slowing business development and decreasing housing prices.

Healthcare costs are impacted in both the immediate aftermath of a gun violence incident and in the long term, owing to the physical and mental toll it causes. A study by the Government Accountability Office found that each year, firearm-related injuries cause 30,000 initial inpatient hospital stays that cost an average of $31,000 each, and 50,000 initial emergency room visits that cost an average of $1,500 each, for a total annual cost of over $1 billion.

Yet that’s likely a significant underestimate because it does not include physician costs, which could increase total costs by about 20%, the committee found.

The financial burdens on both survivors and healthcare providers are considerable. For those who required initial hospital care and survived […]

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