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Falls in Elderly Patients Cost $50 Billion Annually

Findings include medical costs attributed to fatal and nonfatal falls; costs for fatal falls $754 million

FRIDAY, March 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Older adult falls result in substantial medical costs, according to a study published online March 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Curtis S. Florence, Ph.D., from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed data from the Medicare Current Beneficiaries Survey for nonfatal falls, as well as population data from the National Vital Statistics System and cost estimates from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System for fatal falls.

The researchers found that in 2015, the estimated medical costs attributable to fatal and nonfatal falls totaled approximately $50.0 billion. Medicare paid approximately $28.9 billion for nonfatal falls, in addition to $8.7 billion from Medicaid, and $12.0 billion from private and other payers. In total, medical spending for fatal falls was estimated to cost $754 million.

“Measuring medical costs attributable to falls will provide vital information about the magnitude of the problem and the potential financial effect of effective prevention strategies,” the authors write.

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