Under-utilized prevention methods could help contain a rise in skilled nursing facility costs related to osteoporotic fractures, according to a report commissioned by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
In 2015, incremental annual medical SNF costs leapt by more than 256% ($6,600) in the year following a new osteoporotic fracture compared to the year prior, reported Milliman, which conducted the survey. These costs accounted for about 30% of the total incremental annual medical cost of a new fracture to Medicare, which was $21,800, the investigators found. In addition, the average length of stay for SNF admissions increased by 8% in the same period.
To help stem the growing problem, clinicians should step up osteoporosis screening to identify seniors at high risk, the NOF stated. In the case of a new fracture, secondary fracture prevention should be emphasized by focusing on long-term care – such as drug therapy and lifestyle recommendations, it concluded.
The full report and an accompanying supplement are available online.