Fall-Related Hospitalization and Facility Costs Among Residents of Institutions Providing Long-Term Care

Carroll, Norman V.; Delafuente, Jeffrey C.; Cox, Fred M.; Narayanan, Siva
April 2008
Gerontologist;Apr2008, Vol. 48 Issue 2, p213
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate hospital and long-term-care costs resulting from falls in long-term-care facilities (LTCFs). Design and Methods: The study used a retrospective, pre/post with comparison group design. We used matching, based on propensity scores, to control for baseline differences between fallers and non-fallers. We estimated residents' propensity to fall from demographics, comorbidities, and reimbursement in the pre-period. The matched sample included 1,130 fallers and 1,130 non-fallers who were residents of a large, multifacility long-term-care chain. Cost estimates were based on information in the Minimum Data Set and were defined as hospital and LTCF reimbursements. We estimated fall-related costs as the difference between changes in costs for fallers and non-falters from the pre- to post-period. Results: Fallers were substantially more likely to suffer fractures and hospitalizations in the post-period than were non-fallers. Fall-related LTCF and hospital costs were $6,259 (95% confidence interval = $2,034-$10,484) per resident per year. About 60% of this amount was attributable to higher hospitalization costs. Fallers were more likely to be discharged to hospitals or to die. Implications: Falls in LTCFs are associated with costs of about $6,200 per resident per year. These results provide baseline estimates that one may use to estimate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to reduce fall rates.


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