Press Releases

June 24, 2014

HealthCare Partners to Participate in Fall Prevention Clinical Trial

Media Contact:
Robert Klein
HealthCare Partners
(310) 630-4126

TORRANCE, Calif. – HealthCare Partners will join in a national effort to reduce the staggering number of fall-related injuries which affect millions of mature adults annually, as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) have joined to support a clinical trial at 10 health system sites across the country.

Torrance-based HealthCare Partners, the only participant on the West Coast, will collaborate with numerous researchers, stakeholders, patients, and caregivers to test individually tailored interventions to prevent fall-related injuries at eight HealthCare Partners sites in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

The award, made by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH and funded by PCORI as part of the Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership of the two organizations, is expected to total some $30 million over the five-year project, and seeks to find effective, evidence-based strategies to address the personal and public health burden of these falls. HealthCare Partners expects the program to shape a replicable national model for fall prevention and further enhance its impact on the health and wellness of vulnerable adults.

“Studies have shown that each year, one out of every three adults aged 65 and older will fall, and about a third of those falls will lead to serious long-term injury and life-changing consequences,” said Dr. Jeremy Rich, Director of HealthCare Partners Institute for Applied Research and Education. “We’re eager to begin working with patients, caregivers, providers, researchers and other health systems to develop methods of implementation that can be disseminated nationally,” he added.

Each person in the trial will be assessed for his or her risk of falling, and receive either the current standard of care—primarily information about preventing falls—or the experimental study intervention in which individualized care plans will be developed and administered. The primary goal is reduction in serious fall injuries, including non-spinal fractures, joint dislocation, head injuries, lacerations, internal injuries, and hypothermia. Secondary goals include reduction in all falls that cause injuries; all falls regardless of injury; indicators of well-being, physical function and disability, and anxiety and depression.

“Our interdisciplinary, coordinated model of care provides an optimal fit for the goals laid out by our partners at the NIH. We’re pleased that the NIH has taken on this important and impactful issue and saw fit to include us in the initiative,” said Dr. Tom Paulsen, Executive Medical Director of HealthCare Partners Medical Group. “This trial is a steady step towards reducing falls and their far-reaching effects.”

While there have been previous studies which have analyzed risk factors for falls, along with interventions to prevent them, little evidence has been gathered about how to successfully implement these preventions on a large scale. According to the NIH, conventional medical education channels and other methods have not been very effective in initiating change, presumably because patients, caregivers and other stakeholders generally have not been partners in the research process and, as a result, not fully engaged.

Nationwide, the research team plans to enroll 6,000 adults age 75 and older, living in the community, with one or more modifiable risk factors for falls. HealthCare Partners will be recruiting approximately 675 adults in the Los Angeles area. The first year of the study is a pilot phase, during which many aspects of the intervention will be tested with small numbers of people across the 10 clinical sites. Enrollment for the full trial will start in year two and take place over 18 months. The participants will be followed for up to three years.

More information about the trials and participants can be found here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2014/nia-04.htm


About HealthCare Partners

HealthCare Partners Medical Group has been named a top-performer for ten years in a row by the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), and has been recognized by health plans and business groups for medical leadership, the high quality of medical care delivered, operational effectiveness, and high rates of patient satisfaction. With more than 1,800 employed and affiliated primary care physicians and more than 4,500 employed and contracted specialists, HealthCare Partners cares for patients in Los Angeles, Long Beach, South Bay, the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley area, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and Orange County. In addition to primary care doctors’ offices, HealthCare Partners provides medical services through urgent care centers, and offers a wide variety of support programs such as 24-hour telephone support, electronic medical records, free or low-cost health education classes, and special programs for chronic conditions.  HealthCare Partners, LLC, a subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners, manages and operates HealthCare Partners Medical Group along with organizations in Nevada, Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico. For more information, please visit www.healthcarepartners.com.