Foundations of the Safe Balance Program
Falls have been identified as an existential problem to seniors and the US healthcare system for decades. Seemingly, as the senior population increases by 10,000 each day, the problem and impact of catastrophic falls is exponentially increasing in occurrence and cost.
Click on the image below to learn more statistics on falls.
CMS is required by law to implement a quality payment incentive program, referred to as the Quality Payment Program.
Of the 4 performance targets, the "QUALITY" category covers the quality of the care a medical professional delivers, based on performance measures created by CMS, as well as medical professional and stakeholder groups (CMS.gov).
MIPS 154 (Falls: Risk Assessment), 155 (Falls: Plan of Care), and 318 (Screening for Future Fall RIsk) are all Quality Measures providers can report. In this guidelines, specific benchmarks are spelled out as to what is to be included in the assessment and intervention program and how it is to be reported.
To learn more about MIPS 154 specifically, click on the image below.
In a systematic review examining the various effectiveness of fall prevention programs among the Medicare Population, the RAND organization identified that a "multifactorial falls risk assessment and management program was highly effective and appeared to be the most effective."
By examining ALL areas of critical fall risk, including vision, standing balance, ambulation, cognition, prior fall history, etc, a medical provider is able to custom tailor a unique intervention plan based on the patient's individual needs.
Click on the image below to learn more about this systematic review.
Despite concrete evidence on what is "Best Practice" and what is required in the Quality Measures of Assessment/Intervention as it relates to fall risk, many programs fail to meet this threshold which leads to less than optimal results.
Many EHR/EMR programs are a simple YES/NO checkbox of subjective perception of a patient's fall risk. Other technologies measure only standing balance and/or gait and miss other critical facets such as vision and cognition. Many education programs or classes act as an intervention only and lack the implementation of a standardized multifactorial falls risk assessment to qualify the appropriateness of participants.
Click on the image below to walk through a checklist to see how your program meets the quality benchmarks highlighted on this page. You will then find that the Safe Balance program answers "YES" to all prompts in this questionnaire.