American Physical Therapy Association

Contact Your House Member and Urge Them to Co-Sponsor the SAFE Act (H.R. 7618)
The American Physical Therapy Association strongly supports the Stopping Addiction and Falls for the Elderly Act, or the SAFE Act (H.R. 7618), aimed at expanding and increasing access to falls screening and prevention in order to reduce the use of opioids that often occur as a result of a fall. The SAFE Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., and Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of 4 older Americans fall each year. Falling once doubles the chances of falling again. All told, accidental falls among older adults result in 3 million emergency room visits and 1 million hospital stays. Falls among older adults cost $50 billion in medical costs annually, with 75% paid by Medicare and Medicaid. 

Preventing falls is key; however, access to falls screening and prevention services under Medicare is currently limited. Two current programs under Medicare could be improved to ensure better falls screening and prevention for Medicare beneficiaries: the Initial Preventive Physical Examination, or IPPE, also known as the “Welcome to Medicare” visit, and the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, or AWV.

The SAFE Act would expand patient access to PT falls prevention and services by adding PT falls screening and services to both the IPPE and AWV to individuals who have been identified as having a fall within the past year.

Please contact your House member today and urge them co-sponsor the SAFE Act (H.R. 7618).

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