Cost of care for falls in elderly population

Researchers estimated medical costs attributable to both fatal and nonfatal falls in the elderly population and found that approximately 50 billion dollars were spent in 2015. These findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers utilized population data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and cost estimates from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) for fatal falls, quasi-experimental regression analysis of data from the Medicare Current Beneficiaries Survey (MCBS) for nonfatal falls.

For nonfatal falls in adults aged 65 and older, Medicare paid approximately $28.9 billion, Medicaid $8.7 billion and private and other payers $12.0 billion. Overall medical spending for fatal falls was estimated to be $754 million.

Study authors felt that”Preventive strategies that reduce falls among older adults could lead to a substantial reduction in health care spending.”

Citation: Florence, Curtis S., Gwen Bergen, Adam Atherly, Elizabeth Burns, Judy Stevens, and Cynthia Drake. “Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls in Older Adults.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018. doi:10.1111/jgs.15304.

Research funding: CDC

Adapted from press release by Wiley publications.

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