Effect of the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law on Alcohol Screening and Intervention in Trauma Centers

Although research demonstrates that alcohol screening and interventions in trauma centers reduces subsequent alcohol use, repeat injuries, hospital readmissions and health care costs, most trauma centers do not routinely test patients for the presence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants. A major barrier to screening patients for alcohol use in trauma centers is the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law, which permits insurance companies to deny payment for injury claims if alcohol or drug use was involved.

In the article entitled "Effect of the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law on Alcohol Screening and Intervention in Trauma Centers", Larry M. Gentilello, MD, and colleagues conducted surveys to investigate trauma surgeons--and legislators--knowledge of, and attitudes towards, alcohol screening in trauma patients and the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law. This brief summarizes the findings of Gentilello's surveys.