A break-even analysis of a community rehabilitation falls prevention service


Correspondence to: Tracy Comans, The Community Rehabilitation Service, Southside Health Service District, Locked Bag 2, Archerfield 4109, Brisbane, Queensland. Fax: (07) 3277 8807; e-mail: tracy.comans@uqconnect.edu.au


Objective: To identify and compare the minimum number of clients that a multidisciplinary falls prevention service delivered through domiciliary or centre-based care needs to treat to allow the service to reach a ‘break-even’ point.

Method: A break-even analysis was undertaken for each of two models of care for a multidisciplinary community rehabilitation falls prevention service. The two models comprised either a centre-based group exercise and education program or a similar program delivered individually in the client's home. The service consisted of a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and therapy assistant. The participants were adults aged over 65 years who had experienced previous falls.

Costs were based on the actual cost of running a community rehabilitation team located in Brisbane. Benefits were obtained by estimating the savings gained to society from the number of falls prevented by the program on the basis of the falls reduction rates obtained in similar multidisciplinary programs.

Results: It is estimated that a multi-disciplinary community falls prevention team would need to see 57 clients per year to make the service break-even using a centre-based model of care and 78 clients for a domiciliary-based model.

Conclusions and Implications:

The service this study was based on has the capability to see around 300 clients per year in a centre-based service or 200-250 clients per year in a home-based service. Based on the best available estimates of costs of falls, multidisciplinary falls prevention teams in the community targeting people at high risk of falls are worthwhile funding from a societal viewpoint.