Objectives: To evaluate the incremental cost in the year after hip fracture.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Baltimore, Maryland.
Participants: 759 community dwelling older patients who sustained a hip fracture and participated in the Baltimore Hip Fracture Study.
Measurements: Resource use for direct medical care, formal nonmedical care, and informal care in the 6 months before and the year after fracture was estimated from interviews with patients or proxy respondents. Costs in 1993 dollars were estimated by multiplying resources times national unit cost estimates.
Results: The annualized costs in the year before the fracture ranged between $18,523 and $20,928. The costs in the year after the fracture equaled $37,250. The incremental costs in the year after the fracture, compared with the costs in the year before the fracture, ranged between $16,322 and $18,727. The largest cost differences were attributable to hospitalizations, nursing home stays, and rehabilitation services.
Conclusions: Because we compared the costs after a fracture with costs before, our estimates of the incremental cost of a hip fracture are lower than others in the literature. These results, obtained from interviews with patients enrolled in a cohort study, or their proxies, provide the best data available to date on the economic cost of hip fractures among community-dwelling older persons.