Objectives: Falls in the older adults are a major public health concern. The growing population of adults 65 years or older, advances in medical care and changes in the costs of care motivated our study of the acute health care costs of fall-related injuries among the older adults in the United States of America. Design and settings: The MarketScan® Medicare Supplemental database 1998 was used to estimate reimbursed costs for hospital, emergency department (ED), and outpatient clinic treatments for unintentional falls among older adults. Results: A fall on the same level due to slipping, tripping, or stumbling was the most common mechanism of injury (28%). Mean hospitalisation cost was US$ 17,483 (S.D.: US$ 22,426) in 2004 US$. Femur fracture was the most expensive type of injury (US$ 18,638, S.D.: US$ 19,990). The mean reimbursement cost of an ED visit was US$ 236 and US$ 412 for an outpatient clinic visit. Conclusion: The magnitude of the economic and social costs of falls in older adults underscores the need for active research in the field of falls prevention.
- Acute care
- Older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine