reported costs may be inadvertently assigned to erroneous injury categories.
A related consideration is that survey respondents, polled every six months, report only costs incurred between victimization and the interview date, which might be only a few days post-victimization. In addition, since the survey limits self-report to a six-month time frame, long-term medical and other costs are not reflected. Further, victims who have suffered minor injuries may forget small costs, whereas those who suffered severe injuries may not know the cumulative costs of present, much less future, treatment by multiple health care providers. Victim-furnished information is also questionable, especially for hospitalized injury, because bills are often sent directly to the insurer without the insured learning of the amount.17
Optimally, medical diagnoses of injury and associated costs are captured directly from hospital, physician, and other treatment-related records. Earlier costs of injury/illness studies relied on such independent incidence data sources as the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the National Accident Sampling System (NASS), the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS), and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (for examples, see Hartunian et al., 1981; Miller and Luchter, 1988; Luchter et al., 1989; and Rice et al., 1989).18 Unfortunately, potentially relevant data bases (e.g., NEISS, NHDS, or the Comprehensive Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services [CHAMPUS]) have not yet been refined for application to victim injury analyses. Such refinement was largely beyond the scope of the present effort.
Despite the limitations noted, the NCS remains the most comprehensive source of information currently available on the incidence and magnitude of harm associated with nonfatal victimization. Therefore, this analysis created a hierarchy of injuries derived from the original NCS data. The data indicated that 61 percent of rape and attempted rape victims reported injury (although nearly half of these had no physical injuries other than the rape itself). Injuries were reported by 36 percent of robbery and attempted robbery victims, and 29 percent of assault and attempted assault victims.
The concern for estimating the cost of longer-term medical care for nonfatal injuries was addressed by extrapolating information from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Detailed Claims Information (DCI) data base.19 The NCCI data are organized using a two-digit code for body part and a two-digit