Medical codes can get incredibly specific. When you go to the hospital, the doctor won’t just enter your diagnosis as “concussion” or “traffic accident”—you’ll go into the system as suffering from an “animal-drawn vehicle accident” or having been in an “unarmed fight or brawl.” The beauty of these medical codes is that you can track exactly how many people went to the hospital after crashing their horse-drawn buggy. The healthcare search site Amino recently did exactly that, finding out the causes of a disproportionate number of injuries in every state through health insurance claims.
Amino’s researchers combed through 244 million health insurance claims in its database between 2012 and 2016, looking for the injuries that stuck out in each state compared to the national average. Tennessee, for instance, sees 1.6 times more injury diagnoses related to motor vehicle crashes than the national average.
The data (larger image here) represents only injuries that were reported and recorded by doctors, so it’s possible that a ton of people get in fist fights in places other than New York but just don’t go to the doctor for it. The data is simplified so that the 3000 medical codes for physical injuries down are combined into 170 common terms, like calling all 38 types of contusions “bruising.”
Amino found that New York is home to over 10 percent of the medically documented fist fights (the aforementioned unarmed brawls). There were 35,000 New York fist fight injuries diagnosed during the period analyzed, compared to around 296,000 nationally. Indiana’s most disproportionately common injury is “struck by object.” Rural states like Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, and Nebraska were home to a disproportionate number of the 43,000 “animal-drawn vehicle accidents” across the country—with 1000 (two percent of the national total) taking place just in Nebraska. Hawaii sees far more patients after “near drowning” than other states, as you might suspect of a state surrounded by water.
The major question is, what’s happening to people’s faces in Louisiana? And why are Missouri’s animals so dangerous?