LeadingAge and ElevatingHOME/VNAA submit recommendations to the Senate Aging Committee on Falls Prevention and Treatment

Members | June 28, 2019 | by Marsha R. Greenfield

LeadingAge and ElevatingHOME/VNAA submitted extensive recommendations to the Senate Special Committee on Aging on falls prevention in response to a formal request from the Committee for ideas on prevention and treatment of falls by older persons.

LeadingAge and ElevatingHOME/VNAA submitted extensive recommendations to the Senate Special Committee on Aging on falls prevention in response to a formal request from the Committee for ideas on prevention and treatment of falls by older persons.

We stressed that because our members provide the full spectrum of aging services, they have developed expertise in integrating services and helping older people to live to their highest practicable well-being in a variety of settings. Falls prevention is not just a healthcare issue and solutions must go beyond healthcare settings, noting, “[a]ffordable senior housing communities offer a venue for implementing interventions that could help mitigate falls with an at-risk population and which could support solutions in several of your areas of inquiry….”

We highlighted the extensive work done by our Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST) on falls prevention and resident care, as well as examples of programs developed by members, including Clermont Park in Denver and Ecumen in Minnesota.

Our policy recommendations, in summary, are:

  • Consider all settings, not just those funded and regulated by Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Consider the purpose of a reporting system.
  • Promote the use of evidence-based interventions and tools.
  • Explore the potential for a purposeful connection between senior housing providers and falls prevention programs.
  • Create a home health benefit for Preventive Home Visits (1-3) for Medicare beneficiaries who report a fall.
  • Evaluate whether it would be a good idea to add a comprehensive falls risk assessment to the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.
  • Consider expanding the Medicare program to include vision care
  • Consider expanding traditional Medicare to include the additional special supplemental benefits (SSBCI) for chronically ill enrollees currently available for Medicare Advantage enrollees.

We expect a report from the Committee later this year.