Medicare spending on nonfatal falls reaches $31B — 5 notes on the falling epidemic

People over 65 years old are falling at epidemic rates and providers across the nation are struggling to understand this stark increase, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here are five notes:

1. In 2015, nonfatal falls costs Medicare almost $31 billion.

2. The rate of fatalities following falls increased more than 35 percent between 2005 and 2014.

3. The CDC, Epic Systems, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and Oregon investigators created the screening system — Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries — to promote a dialogue about falling between older patients and their providers.

4. The program assesses a patient's risk factor for falls, analyzing factors such as types of medication and leg balance. After assessing the risk, the program directs the physician to correlating treatments.

5. Electronic health record companies around the nation are integrating fall screenings into their systems, although Epic is the sole company offering it t electronically nationwide at this time.

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