eCQM Title

Falls: Screening for Future Fall Risk

eCQM Identifier (Measure Authoring Tool) 139 eCQM Version number 7.2.000
NQF Number 0101 GUID bc5b4a57-b964-4399-9d40-667c896f31ea
Measurement Period January 1, 20XX through December 31, 20XX
Measure Steward National Committee for Quality Assurance
Measure Developer American Medical Association (AMA)
Measure Developer National Committee for Quality Assurance
Measure Developer PCPI(R) Foundation (PCPI[R])
Endorsed By National Quality Forum
Percentage of patients 65 years of age and older who were screened for future fall risk during the measurement period
This Physician Performance Measure (Measure) and related data specifications have been developed by the PCPI(R) Foundation (PCPI[R]) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This Measure is not a clinical guideline and does not establish a standard of medical care, and has not been tested for all potential applications. The Measure, while copyrighted, can be reproduced and distributed, without modification, for noncommercial purposes, eg, use by health care providers in connection with their practices. Commercial use is defined as the sale, license, or distribution of the Measure for commercial gain, or incorporation of the Measure into a product or service that is sold, licensed or distributed for commercial gain. Commercial uses of the Measure require a license agreement between the user and the PCPI(R) or NCQA. Neither the American Medical Association (AMA), nor the former AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement(R), PCPI, NCQA nor its members shall be responsible for any use of the Measure. (C) 2017 National Committee for Quality Assurance and PCPI(R) Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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Measure Scoring Proportion
Measure Type Process
Risk Adjustment
Rate Aggregation
As the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults, falls are one of the most common and significant health issues facing people aged 65 years or older (Schneider, Shubert and Harmon 2010). Moreover, the rate of falls increases with age (Dykes et al. 2010). Older adults are five times more likely to be hospitalized for fall-related injuries than any other cause-related injury. It is estimated that one in every three adults over 65 will fall each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015). In those over age 80, the rate of falls increases to fifty percent (Doherty et al. 2009). Falls are also associated with substantial cost and resource use, approaching $30,000 per fall hospitalization (Woolcott et al. 2011). Identifying at-risk patients is the most important part of management, as applying preventive measures in this vulnerable population can have a profound effect on public health (al-Aama 2011). Family physicians have a pivotal role in screening older patients for risk of falls, and applying preventive strategies for patients at risk (al-Aama 2011).
Clinical Recommendation Statement
All older persons who are under the care of a heath professional (or their caregivers) should be asked at least once a year about falls.  (AGS/BGS/AAOS)

Older persons who present for medical attention because of a fall, report recurrent falls in the past year, or demonstrate abnormalities of gait and/or balance should have a fall evaluation performed.  This evaluation should be performed by a clinician with appropriate skills and experience, which may necessitate referral to a specialist (eg, geriatrician).  (AGS/BGS/AAOS)

Older people in contact with health care professionals should be asked routinely whether they have fallen in the past year and asked about the frequency, context, and characteristics of the falls.  (NICE) (Grade C)

Older people reporting a fall or considered at risk of falling should be observed for balance and gait deficits and considered for their ability to benefit from interventions to improve strength and balance.  (NICE) (Grade C)
Improvement Notation
A higher score indicates better quality
al-Aama, T. 2011. "Falls in the Elderly: Spectrum and Prevention." Can Fam Physician 57(7):771-6.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. "Important Facts about Falls" (December 14, 2015)
Doherty, M., and J. Crossen-Sills. 2009. "Fall Risk: Keep your patients in balance." The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care 34(12):46-51.
American Geriatrics Society, British Geriatrics Society, and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Panel on Falls Prevention: Guideline for the prevention of falls in older persons.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  2001; 49: 664-672.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).  Falls:  the assessment and prevention of falls in older people.  November 2004; clinical guideline 21.  Available at:
Dykes, P.C., D.L. Carroll DL, A. Hurley A, S. Lipsitz S, A. Benoit A, F. Chang F, S. Meltzer S, R. Tsurikova R, L. Zuyov L, B. Middleton B. 2010. "Fall Prevention in Acute Care Hospitals: A Randomized Trial." JAMA . 2010;304(17):1912-1918.
Schneider, E.C., T.E. Shubert, and K.J. Harmon. 2010. "Addressing the Escalating Public Health Issue of Falls Among Older Adults." NC  Med J 71(6):547-52.
Woolcott, J.C., K.M. Khan, S. Mitrovic, A.H. Anis, C.A. Marra. 2011. "The Cost of Fall Related Presentations to the ED: A Prospective, In-Person, Patient-Tracking Analysis of Health Resource Utilization." Osteporos Int [Epub ahead of print].
Screening for Future Fall Risk: Assessment of whether an individual has experienced a fall or problems with gait or balance.  A specific screening tool is not required for this measure, however potential screening tools include the Morse Fall Scale and the timed Get-Up-And-Go test.

Fall: A sudden, unintentional change in position causing an individual to land at a lower level, on an object, the floor, or the ground, other than as a consequence of sudden onset of paralysis, epileptic seizure, or overwhelming external force.
Transmission Format
Initial Population
Patients aged 65 years and older with a visit during the measurement period
Equals Initial Population
Denominator Exclusions
Exclude patients whose hospice care overlaps the measurement period.

Exclude patients who were non-ambulatory at some point in the measurement period.
Patients who were screened for future fall risk at least once within the measurement period
Numerator Exclusions
Not Applicable
Denominator Exceptions
Supplemental Data Elements
For every patient evaluated by this measure also identify payer, race, ethnicity and sex

Table of Contents

Population Criteria




Data Criteria (QDM Data Elements)

Supplemental Data Elements

Risk Adjustment Variables

Measure Set