2021 MIPS Measure #318: Falls: Screening for Future Fall Risk

Quality ID 318
eMeasure ID CMS139v9
NQF 0101
High Priority Measure Yes
Specifications EHR
Measure Type Process
Specialty Audiology Family Medicine Internal Medicine Nephrology Orthopedic Surgery Otolaryngology Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Podiatry

Measure description

Percentage of patients 65 years of age and older who were screened for future fall risk during the measurement period.


This measure is an electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) that is expressed and formatted to use data from electronic health records (EHR) to measure healthcare quality.


Patients aged 65 years and older with a visit during the measurement period


Patients who were screened for future fall risk at least once within the measurement period


Screening for Future Fall Risk: Assessment of whether an individual has experienced a fall or problems with gait or balance. A specific screening tool is not required for this measure, however potential screening tools include the Morse Fall Scale and the timed Get-Up-And-Go test.

Fall: A sudden, unintentional change in position causing an individual to land at a lower level, on an object, the floor, or the ground, other than as a consequence of sudden onset of paralysis, epileptic seizure, or overwhelming external force.


As the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults, falls are one of the most common and significant health issues facing people aged 65 years or older (Schneider, Shubert and Harmon 2010). Moreover, the rate of falls increases with age (Dykes et al. 2010). Older adults are five times more likely to be hospitalized for fall-related injuries than any other cause-related injury. It is estimated that one in every three adults over 65 will fall each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015). In those over age 80, the rate of falls increases to fifty percent (Doherty et al. 2009). Falls are also associated with substantial cost and resource use, approaching $30,000 per fall hospitalization Woolcott et al. 2011). Identifying at-risk patients is the most important part of management, as applying preventive measures in this vulnerable population can have a profound effect on public health (al-Aama 2011). Family physicians have a pivotal role in screening older patients for risk of falls, and applying preventive strategies for patients at risk (al-Aama 2011).

Clinical Recommendation Statement

All older persons who are under the care of a heath professional (or their caregivers) should be asked at least once a year about falls. (AGS/BGS/AAOS 2010)

Older persons who present for medical attention because of a fall, report recurrent falls in the past year, or demonstrate abnormalities of gait and/or balance should have a fall evaluation performed. This evaluation should be performed by a clinician with appropriate skills and experience, which may necessitate referral to a specialist (eg, geriatrician). (AGS/BGS/AAOS 2010)

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