The benefits of Athletic Trainers (ATs) extend beyond injury prevention and actually provide significant cost savings. AT services can help support the reduction of medical payments and utilizations, but what does this mean exactly for athletes? By simply employing ATs in schools, they help reduce the frequency of emergency care for athletes' injuries via timely injury management and early intervention. By stepping in early on, ATs help keeps athletes out of the hospital, which results in notable medical cost savings for athletes' families and schools.
Each year in the United States, 3.5 million youth athletes receive medical treatment for a sports injury, and sports injuries make up 30% of all youth emergency department visits. To combat insurmountable healthcare costs, ATs work proactively to protect athletes and provide medical care. If you're not yet convinced as to the value and cost-benefit of employing ATs, consider Korey Stringer Institute's Secondary School Athletic Insurance Project. The project's preliminary data analysis of roughly 3,400 sport-related claims from 90 public school districts in nine states found that schools with full-time ATs had a claims rate half as high as schools that didn't employ full-time ATs. What's more, the average claim cost was more than twice as high for schools without full-time ATs compared to those that provided full-time AT services. Additionally, almost 90% of the claims occurring at schools without ATs were for injuries that could have been managed by ATs which, in turn, may have significantly reduced medical claims and costs for both schools and families.
ATs provide accessible and affordable services to athletes for a fraction of the cost of a potentially avoidable hospital visit. In addition, services like ATvantage provide season-long athletic trainers for affordable prices. Click here to learn more.
- Grantham, J. (2016). Insuring athletes, ensuring value - nata. nata.org. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from,https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/media_-_ensuring_athletes_ensuring_value_oct_2016.pdf
- Li, T., Johnson, S.T., Koester, M.C. et al. The impact of high school athletic trainer services on medical payments and utilizations: a microsimulation analysis on medical claims. Inj. Epidemiol. 6, 15 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-019-0194-y
- Ryan JL, Pracht EE, Orban BL. Inpatient and emergency department costs from sports injuries among youth aged 5-18 years. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2019 March 19;5(1):e000491. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000491. PMID: 31191961; PMCID: PMC6539161.