Managed Markets

Annual wellness visits may prevent fall risks in older adults

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Older Americans receiving annual wellness visits (AWVs) may be at a lower risk for future falls and fractures, according to a study that emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about AWVs.

In the study, Texas Medicare data on beneficiaries ≥68 years of age matched for the presence/absence of an AWV in 2017 by propensity score were included. In 2017, 32.2% had an AWV. A matched cohort, including 742,494 beneficiaries, demonstrated that receiving an AWV in 2017 was associated with reduced risks for future falls and fractures (3.9% and 4%, respectively).

Receiving an AWV more greatly impacted the fall reduction of rural residents and the fracture reduction of beneficiaries with ≥4 morbidities.

Receiving an AWV for 3 straight years also lowered the risk of future falls.

Tzeng HM, Raji MA, Tahashilder MI, et al. Association between medicare annual wellness visits and prevention of falls and fractures in older adults in Texas, USA. Prev Med. 2022;107331. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107331. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36334680.