WISQARS™ Cost of Injury Reports Help Menu
2.7 Statistical Options
The options in this section allow you to request different types of cost estimates and to specify the price units in which the cost estimates are to be expressed.
Type of Lifetime Cost
By checking one or multiple boxes under this heading, you can request cost estimates representing:
- lifetime medical costs, and/or
- lifetime work loss costs, and/or
combined costs (lifetime medical plus lifetime work loss).
Note: For injury-related deaths, lifetime medical costs refer to the medical costs associated with the fatal injury event.
By checking one or both boxes under this heading, you can request cost estimates presented in the form of:
- totals (for all injuries covered by each reporting category), and/or
- averages (per case; available for reports based exclusively on system-provided data).
Price Index for Expressing Costs
For injury-related deaths, cost estimates based exclusively on system-provided data can be requested at the national, regional, or state level. Depending on the level of geographic detail requested, radio buttons in the query screen allow these cost estimates to be requested in terms of:
- U.S. prices, which reflect costs that are representative of economic characteristics nationally, or
- region-specific prices,which reflect costs that are representative of the economic characteristics in one selected region, or
- state-specific prices, which reflect costs that are representative of the economic characteristics in one selected state.
When nationwide cost estimates are requested, they will be automatically expressed in terms of U.S. prices. Cost estimates for one selected region can be expressed in terms of U.S. prices or region-specific prices, while cost estimates for one selected state can be expressed in terms of U.S. prices, region-specific prices, or state-specific prices. Because cost estimates expressed in terms of these different price indices can vary substantially, it is important to understand how they are best interpreted. Generally:
- State-level or regional estimates expressed in terms of U.S. prices are appropriate for making comparisons between states or regions.
- State-level estimates expressed in terms of region-specific prices are also appropriate for making comparisons between states within the same region.
- Regional estimates expressed in terms of region-specific prices more accurately represent the economic characteristics of the individual regions, but are typically less suitable for comparisons between regions.
- State-level estimates expressed in terms of state-specific prices more accurately represent the economic characteristics of the individual states, but are typically less suitable for comparisons between states.
Additivity of Cost Estimates
Cost estimates for a selected region or state (available for fatal injuries only) that are expressed in terms of region- or state-specific prices will be additive in one of two ways depending on an additional radio button selection. The first way (the default) is such that parallel cost estimates across all regions or all states will sum to the unadjusted national total (expressed in U.S. prices) within each reporting category (e.g., type of injury). The second way is such that cost estimates will sum across categories (e.g., injury types) to the overall report total (e.g., the report total without regard to injury type); estimates will thus be additive within the selected state/region. For regional or state-level cost estimates expressed in regional or state prices, it is usually not possible to simultaneously enforce both types of additivity. If both types of additivity are desired, cost estimates should be requested in terms of U.S. prices.
When cost estimates are calculated from a combination of system-provided data and user-provided data (see Section 2.4) only the preliminary average cost estimates that are displayed in custom-generated user data entry screens will embody the types of additivity properties described above. Because user-provided data may represent injuries for geographic areas other than a specific state or region (e.g., counties or municipalities) such properties cannot generally be enforced in the final total cost estimates.
For more information about how the region-specific and state-specific price indices are applied in the calculation of cost estimates, and further details concerning the two types of additivity described above, see Section 4.4.