Calculating the Cost-Savings of Improving Self-Care and Reducing Falls


A non-profit organization provides programming that promotes health and wellness through education, fitness instruction, and self-care strategies. They offer classes that “give you the tools you need to take control of your own health and manage in a way that works best for you and your life.”

The programs are evidenced-based, and in many cases the amount of published literature documenting their clinical benefits is extensive. The organization offers classes intended to prevent falls, prevent diabetes, and manage chronic conditions including diabetes, arthritis, and chronic pain.


Needing to Quantify Cost-Savings

The organization felt strongly that those who successfully completed their program were better equipped to manage their health and wellness, and likely had reduced healthcare utilization. But, they did not know quite how best to compile the evidence and calculate estimates of the cost-avoidance associated with their programs.


“We had an aggressive timeline to complete an analysis showing cost savings from our fall prevention and self-management programs for older adults. Craig was responsive to last-minute requests and was able to accommodate our busy schedules. Craig was also very intentional and clear about delivering information and content that would be useful to our program and business needs. This was our first time doing this type of project and Craig was realistic about the project’s scope. Upon project completion, Craig provided us with guidance for future projects, including opportunities to show further value created by our programs.”


Performing the Economic Analysis

After an extensive literature search, I identified relevant research and abstracted key information related to falls and chronic conditions. From these articles I was able to produce a summary of relevant event rates (and their costs) and estimated effectiveness of the evidence-based programs this organization employed. Armed with this information as well as self-reported outcomes by class participants at the beginning and end of each program, I assembled multiple scenarios exploring the potential reductions in care utilization from reduced falls and improved chronic disease management to arrive at estimated cost-savings overall and per participant.


Leveraging and Disseminating Results

From these results we developed white papers and other materials that could be used with external audiences to demonstrate the value of these programs from both a monetary and non-monetary standpoint. The organization now feels equipped to display both the clinical significance and value of the work they do, and have credited this work with helping them secure meetings with multiple interested healthplans.