Efforts leading to the reduction and elimination of falls within acute and long-term clinical care settings are one of the top priorities of health care organizations nationwide. Falls often lead to serious life-threatening conditions and long-term consequences for our patients, their families, and health systems, while also contributing to astonishing costs for health care facilities. In 2010, the direct medical cost related to falls (adjusted for inflation) was $30 billion, and by the year 2020, the annual direct cost related to falls is expected to be near $54.9 billion. With the 2008 change in payment rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), hospitals no longer receive payment for costs required to treating injuries that are acquired during hospitalizations as a result of falling.

The latest recommendations from the guidelines for prevention of falls from the Institute of Clinical...

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