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The Gerontologist 48:213-222 (2008)
© 2008 The Gerontological Society of America

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

Norman V. Carroll, PhD1, Jeffrey C. Delafuente, MS1, Fred M. Cox, PhD2 and Siva Narayanan, MS, MHS3

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Norman V. Carroll, PhD, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 410 North 12th Street, Box 980533, Richmond, VA 23298-0533. E-mail: nvcarroll{at}

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-fallers 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.

Key Words: Costs • Long-term care • Falls • Economics

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2008 by The Gerontological Society of America.