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08/02

5 Facts Regarding the Costs of Falls for Older Americans

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

older_americans_fallingSlip and fall accidents are a serious public health and safety problem in the United States, and they have been for generations.  People of all ages can slip, fall and suffer severe injuries or worse at any given time and in any given place, but these falls are particularly troublesome for older Americans.  That’s because people who are older tend to be more susceptible to injury, they tend to take longer to recover and the costs associated with these recoveries tend to be higher.

If people were more aware of these risks and these costs, perhaps more would be done to lower the number of people who are injured as a result of these incidents.  The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, tracks several different types of statistics that relate to falls and the resulting injuries and costs associated with them.  Below you will find five different facts regarding the actual costs that can result from injuries suffered in falls by older Americans, and as you’ll see this is an issue that deserves more attention.

  1. Billions in Direct Medical Costs

According to the CDC, the total direct medical costs relating to fall injuries suffered by people who were at least 65 years old in the year 2000 was $19 billion.  This total did not include the $200 million in costs associated with fatal falls.

  1. Rising Direct Medical Costs

Any medical problem that generates $19 billion deserves the public’s focus, but that number will actually look quite low if the current projections are correct.  By the year 2020, all medical costs associated with fall injuries suffered by older Americans will exceed $54 billion.

  1. High on the List

There are a number of different medical problems and injuries that can lead to enormous medical costs for older Americans.  However, costs associated with fall-related injuries constitute one of the 20 most expensive types of medical conditions that someone in this age group can encounter.

  1. Average Medicare Costs

According to statistics from 2002, when 22 percent of older Americans reported suffering injuries from falls during the previous year, the average Medicare payout ranged between $9,000 and $13,500.  This average was limited to older Americans who were not living in assisted living facilities.

  1. Total Average Medical Costs

A recent study indicated that for people who were at least 72 years old when they suffered injuries in a fall, the average total medical cost was more than $19,000.  These costs included those related to emergency room visits, hospital stays and home healthcare.

Costs associated with injuries suffered by older Americans in falls are already in the billions of dollars every year, and they are going up steadily as more people reach this age.  These can be difficult costs to deal with for many people, particularly if these falls occur on someone else’s property.  If you or someone you love has been injured while legally on another premises, contact the Las Vegas slip and fall lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

 

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