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National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Today is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day! According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control, falls have been the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among U.S. adults aged 65 years and over throughout the past decade. This is why today is so important, because some falls can be prevented.

According to a new study, “The Case for Medicare Investment in DME in 2021,” being released by Leitten Consulting:

When Medicare invests in mobility DME for Medicare beneficiaries, falls are reduced and the cascade of costs that result from treating those falls are eliminated. Fall avoidance leads directly to cost avoidance in the form of reduced Medicare and beneficiary Spending.

For every dollar that Medicare currently spends providing mobility DME, Medicare avoids spending an additional $39.24 to pay for fall-related emergency room visits, doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance transport, rehabilitation and long-term care. Medicare investments in DME also generate an additional cost savings to Medicare beneficiaries and their private insurers, who typically bear the burden of the ~20% copay that Medicare doesn’t cover, of $9.89. Beyond these direct costs, falls are responsible for additional indirect or economic costs (e.g., the value of lost wages and labor productivity) for Americans 65 and older, adding another 35% to the total cost of falls.

The graphic below shows how much money could be saved with fall prevention.

The full study, “The Case for Medicare Investment in DME in 2021” will be released soon.