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Violence intervention programs may save millions of dollars

iStock | shironosov

iStock | shironosov

Violence intervention programs at hospitals have been shown to save lives, and they also may save hospitals as much as $4 million.

Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) provide victims of violent injuries like gunshots and stab wounds with counseling and case management by medical professionals and social workers. There are currently 25 such programs in hospitals around the U.S., and research has shown that these programs reduce aggressive behavior and improve employment rates for the victims.

This is according to Drexel University, which just released the first study looking at the economic impact of the programs. The study finds that an HVIP serving 90 clients could save up to $4 million in a five-year period.

The cost savings come from a variety of sources, including treating reinjured victims and treating those whom the original victim may commit violence against in the future. Savings from the criminal justice system and from societal costs of lost of productivity are added to this total.

Researchers ran a variety of models simulating different costs and all produced savings, though not all were as high as the top $4 million figure. However, even the most conservative simulation resulted in a healthcare savings of $82,765 over the four-year period.

Have you worked at a facility with an HVIP? Would you want to? Let us know your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

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