Trauma activation fees are attracting significant media attention. A recent report found that activation fees have risen sharply in the last 6 years and vary widely between hospitals. But according to Mike Williams, president of The Abaris Group, a trauma center consulting firm, activation fees are not just controversial, they are deeply flawed as a mechanism for funding trauma care.
“Trauma centers are getting quite a bit of pushback from payers and the media about activation fees,” Williams said. To avoid trouble, many hospitals set their activation fee by benchmarking against other comparable trauma centers. Williams believes there are two problems with this approach.