A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of a Proposed National Falls Prevention Program

Published in: Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, v. 26, no. 4, Nov. 2010, p. 751-766

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by Shin-Yi Wu, Emmett B. Keeler, Laurence Rubenstein, Margaret A. Maglione, Paul G. Shekelle

Falls are a major health concern for elderly people and cause substantial health care costs. The authors used meta-analytic findings on the effectiveness of fall prevention interventions to determine cost-effectiveness of a proposed Medicare fall prevention program for people who experience a recent fall. Using published clinical trial data, the authors constructed a population-based economic model and estimated that, in the base case, the program could prevent a half million people from falling again within a year. From the model, under most circumstances the cost-effectiveness ratio is less than $1500 per person prevented from experiencing a recurrent fall. Paying for a fall prevention program to increase the use of evidence-based interventions would be a cost-effective use of Medicare dollars.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.