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Improved Ability to Predict Who is at Risk for Falling in SNFs and ALFs
Date:3/25/2009

Project launched among 6 skilled nursing facilities and 1 assisted living facility

CHICAGO, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A multi-state project to help operators of skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities improve their ability to better predict which residents are at risk for falling was announced today by Simply Rehab LLC at the annual LSN (Life Services Network) convention in Chicago. This program also includes measurements that lead to appropriate preventative actions for the at risk resident. Falls among community dwelling older adults are a significant problem in the US with Medicare's cost of treating the injuries resulting from falls being close to $3 billion. Statistics gathered by CMS (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) report that for every 10 residents of nursing homes in the US, 5 falls are reported each year.

Simply Rehab LLC, a Northbrook, IL based company that provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to nursing homes and exercise programs to assisted living facilities, announced this project in which nursing homes in Illinois, Colorado and North Carolina have banded together to address this serious issue. The predictive methodology used in this project incorporates a unique collection of elements from the popular Berg Balance Scale Test taught in US Physical Therapy Programs along with improved predictive techniques reported by Oxford University in September of 2008. These techniques, known as AST (Alternate Step Test), STS-5 (Sit to Stand 5 times) and the SMWT (Six Meter Walk Test) were used in a multi-year study conducted by researchers at the Price of Wales Medical Research Institute in Randwick, Australia. In a study using 362 subjects aged 74-98 years, these methodologies proved to be superior to other popular techniques when predicting who would be a multiple faller.

Robert Kunio, project manager and Chief Operating Officer of Simply Rehab, stated that "skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities are under enormous pressure to reduce the frequency and cost of falls among their residents. Rather than focusing our efforts on helping our clients better react to falls, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on better predicting who is at risk and then taking appropriate preventive measures. The new techniques we have identified as part of our on going research efforts have produced impressive results in Australia and we are in the process of bringing these techniques to a small group of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in this country."

Elizabeth Roth, President of Simply Rehab, further commented that "We have now assembled and begun testing a collection of improved predictive techniques for both the ambulating (walking) population and the propelling (wheelchair bound) population. Our database is giving us a good correlation between quarterly predictive scores and actual falls, which then allows us to fine tune the protocol on a regular basis for various segments of the geriatric population. The outcome of this effort should be an overall reduction of falls and the cost of falls to our clients, to Medicare and ultimately to the US taxpayers."

SimplyRehab is a closely held contract therapy provider in Northbrook, Illinois with clients in Illinois, North Carolina, Utah and Colorado. For more information visit www.SimplyRehab.com.


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SOURCE Simply Rehab LLC
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