Comans TA, Peel NM, Hubbard RE, et al.
Age Ageing 2016; Jan 13 [Epub ahead of print]
Publication date: January 13, 2016
Older people are high users of healthcare resources. The objective of the study by Comans et al. was to quantify the impact of frailty on healthcare expenditure and resource utilization in a patient cohort who entered a community-based post-acute program and compare this to a cohort entering residential care.
Participants (N = 272) had an average age of 79, and frailty levels were low in 20%, intermediate in 50% and high in 30% of the cohort. Having an intermediate or high level of frailty increased the likelihood of re-hospitalization and was associated with 22% and 43% higher healthcare costs over 6 months compared with low frailty. It was less costly to remain living at home than enter residential care unless >62% of subsequent hospitalizations in 6 months could be prevented.
The frailty index can potentially be used as a tool to estimate the increase in healthcare resources required for different levels of frailty. This information may be useful for quantifying the amount to invest in programs to reduce frailty in the community.