New CDC Publication -- The Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls among Older Adults

13 Mar 2018 1:27 PM | Elise Omaki (Administrator)

CDC has a new publication regarding older adult fall prevention, “The Medical Costs of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls among Older Adults,” in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. The study found that in 2015, total medical costs to treat older adult falls exceeded $50 billion. Of this total amount, medical costs for fatal falls accounted for $750 million. For nonfatal falls, Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of the financial burden of medical costs, which totaled $38 billion for the two programs. Medicare spent approximately $29 billion on falls (constituting 6 percent of all Medicare spending for older adults). Medicaid spent $9 billion on falls (8 percent of all Medicaid spending for older adults). Fall-related expenses for private and other payers totaled $12 billion (5 percent of their total older adult spending).

This new study is the first to calculate the annual economic burden paid by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance/out of pocket payers. Using this new methodology, CDC will update falls medical spending estimates on a regular basis. 

With the aging of the U.S. population, both the number of fall injuries and the resulting expenditures are expected to increase substantially if more is not done to prevent falls. Clinical prevention efforts, like CDC’s STEADI Initiative, equip healthcare providers with the tools and resources needed to reduce falls among their older patients. In addition to improved outcomes, these efforts can likewise reduce healthcare costs. We hope the results of this study will be useful to you and guide your efforts to help Americans age without injury. 

Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research


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