Free Tool: Online Calculator for Estimating an Appropriate Trauma Activation Fee


The trauma response fee — commonly known as the trauma activation fee — allows designated trauma centers to recoup the cost of trauma team readiness. While many centers have developed and implemented a trauma activation fee, program leaders are often uncertain whether they are charging too much or too little.

A new online calculator allows trauma program leaders to estimate what their center should be charging for trauma activations. The calculator was developed by Trauma Ready Consulting, a trauma center consulting firm.

The Trauma Activation Fee Calculator and supporting materials are available below for registered members of Trauma System News. If you are already a member, you can log in or out of your account here: Login / To register for a Free Membership, click here.

“Many trauma leaders have a lot of uncertainty around activation fees,” said Alex Guerrero, MD, FACS, founder of Trauma Ready Consulting. “They are often concerned that their fee is too high, but in reality many programs are charging too little to cover the full cost of a 24/7 trauma program.”

“We created this calculator to help programs generate a solid estimate easily — and gain a better understanding of the underlying costs that should be driving your fee structure.”

To support the calculator, Dr. Guerrero has developed a worksheet that helps users gather the key data needed to determine an appropriate activation charge. The Trauma Activation Fee Worksheet can also be used as supporting documentation when submitting trauma fees to payers.

In addition, Dr. Guerrero has created a 14-minute video that explains how to use the Trauma Activation Fee Calculator and the accompanying worksheet. The video:

  • Reviews basic concepts and requirements for billing an activation fee
  • Explains why it is impossible to create an activation fee based on what other hospitals charge
  • Describes how to gather the financial and operational data needed to calculate an activation fee
  • Indicates where to find national averages that can be used to create a provisional estimate
  • Explains how to use the calculator to quantify potential annual activation fee revenue

The Trauma Activation Fee Calculator and explanatory video are available to Trauma System News members. If you are already a member, you can log in or out of your account here: Login / To register for a Free Membership, click here.


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