Study finds considerable variation in hip fracture rates across nursing homes

In a nationally representative study, researchers found considerable variation in the rates of hip fractures across US nursing home facilities.The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study identified a number of modifiable facility-level characteristics that might be addressed, but the majority of the variation in the risk of hip fracture remained unexplained.

Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have determined that the proportion of residents that experience injurious falls is an important nursing home quality measure, the authors caution against the use of hip fracture rates as a similar quality measure.

"Although much of the variation was unexplained by measured characteristics in our study, psychotropic medication prescribing and staffing requirements emerged as plausible targets for initiatives to reduce hip fracture rates in nursing home facilities," said lead author Dr. Andrew Zullo, of Brown University School of Public Health.

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