A longitudinal analysis of total 3-year healthcare costs for older adults who experience a fall requiring medical care
ABSTRACT To compare longitudinal changes in healthcare costs between fallers admitted to the hospital at the time of the fall (admitted), those not admitted to the hospital (nonadmitted), and nonfaller controls; test hypotheses related to differences in mean costs between and within these groups over time; and estimate the costs attributable to falling.
Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound.
Seven thousand nine hundred ninety-three nonadmitted fallers, 976 admitted fallers, and 8,956 nonfallers aged 67 and older enrolled in an integrated healthcare delivery system. Fallers were identified according to fall-related E-Codes and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes recorded between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2006. Nonfallers were frequency matched on age group and sex.
Quarterly costs during a 3-year period were modeled using generalized estimating equations. Covariates included index age, sex, RxRisk (a comorbidity adjuster), fall status, time, and interactions between fall status and time.
Cost differences between the faller cohorts and nonfallers were greatest in quarters closest to the fall (all P<.01) and persisted throughout the entire year of follow-up. Although nonfaller costs increased with time, faller cohort costs increased more quickly (all P<.01). For admitted fallers, 92% of costs incurred in the quarter of the fall were estimated to be attributable to falling ($27,745 of $30,038, P<.001).
Falls for which medical attention are sought resulted in higher costs than for nonfallers for up to 12 months after a fall, particularly for falls requiring hospitalization. Prevention efforts should focus on reducing fall-related injuries requiring hospitalization because they produce the highest excess costs and have a higher likelihood of 1-year mortality.
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ABSTRACT: Generalized additive models for location, scale, and shape (GAMLSS) are a class of semi-parametric models with potential applicability to health care cost data. We compared the bias, accuracy, and coverage of GAMLSS estimators with two distributions [gamma and generalized inverse gaussian (GIG)] using a log link to the generalized linear model (GLM) with log link and gamma family and the log-transformed OLS. The evaluation using simulated gamma data showed that the GAMLSS and GLM gamma model had similar bias, accuracy, and coverage and outperformed the GAMLSS GIG. When applied to simulated GIG data, the GLM gamma was similar or improved in bias, accuracy, and coverage compared to the GAMLSS GIG and gamma; furthermore, the GAMLSS estimators produced wildly inaccurate or overly-precise results in certain circumstances. Applying all models to empirical data on health care costs after a fall-related injury, all estimators produced similar coefficient estimates, but GAMLSS estimators produced spuriously smaller standard errors. Although no single alternative was best for all simulations, the GLM gamma was the most consistent, so we recommend against using GAMLSS estimators using GIG or gamma to test for differences in mean health care costs. Since GAMLSS offers many other flexible distributions, future work should evaluate whether GAMLSS is useful when predicting health care costs.Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology 03/2012; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10742-012-0086-x
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ABSTRACT: The authors describe the customary tools used by health services researchers to conduct economic evaluations of health interventions. Recognizing the inherent challenges of these tools for utilization in contemporary public health practice, we recommend a practical cost-benefit analysis (PCBA) to allow public health practitioners to assess the economic merits of their existing public health programs. The PCBA estimates what health effects and corresponding medical cost avoidance would be required to support the costs associated with implementing a community-based prevention program. We apply the PCBA to evaluate a statewide evidence-based falls prevention program for seniors in Texas. We estimate a positive return on realized costs due to avoided direct and indirect medical expenses if the program averts 7 falls among 140 participants within the first year. While acknowledging the demonstrated health-related benefits of public health interventions, we provide a practical ex-post economic evaluation methodology to assess return on investment as a more simplistic yet effective alternative for public health practitioners versus contemporary analyses of health services researchers.Evaluation & the Health Professions 12/2010; 34(2):201-25. DOI:10.1177/0163278710393955 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To examine the long-term effect of sentinel injury (unintentional injury involving serious health-related consequences) among older adults on Medicare expenditures. Secondary data analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, a nationally representative survey of Medicare Beneficiaries. Noninstitutionalized community dwellers. Older adults (N = 12,318) continuously enrolled in Medicare Fee-for-Service under Old Age Survivors Insurance Benefits surveyed between October 1998 and December 2004. Monthly total Medicare expenditures served as the dependent variable. Injury status (preinjury, injury episode, postinjury) was identified from Medicare claims and specified as a set of dummy variables. Injury episodes began with the first index injury claim identified and ended when no further injury claims were found within 180 days. Population-averaged models using generalized estimating equation techniques were estimated to explore changes in Medicare expenditures over time after adjusting for casemix differences. A case-crossover design was used to compare monthly Medicare expenditures before and after sentinel injury events. Fifteen percent of beneficiaries sustained at least one sentinel injury. Medicare expenditures increased sharply during sentinel injury episodes (β = 1.703, P < .001) and remained at least 28% higher than would otherwise be expected for 27 uninterrupted months following injury. Additive Medicare expenditures associated with sentinel injury over 3 years were estimated at $28,885. Consequences of sentinel injury in older adults extend well beyond the period typically considered to be an acute injury episode. Better understanding of the long-term consequences of injury-related outcomes is needed to achieve public health goals of reducing injury and improving injury-related medical care.Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 03/2011; 59(3):406-16. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03283.x · 4.22 Impact Factor