Abstract 17142: Increased Adherence to Patient Follow-up Visits within 7 dDys in Heart Failure Patients are Associated With Reduced Readmission Rates in MI and WI
Background & Objectives: Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization among adults aged 65 or older. Despite advancements in medical therapy, HF readmission rates remain high. The average cost of each HF readmission is about $13,000. High rates of readmissions can lead to penalties of up to 3% of Medicare reimbursement, the reduction of costs, & the improvement of quality of care and patient outcomes, which makes reduction vital to hospitals. Having a follow up visit within 7 days of hospital discharge may help reduce HF readmissions. The objective of the abstract is to quantify the change in 7 day follow up visits and 30 day readmissions as part of the Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) HF quality improvement (QI) initiative.
Methods: GWTG HF is an in-hospital quality initiative designed to improve care by promoting adherence to the latest scientific guidelines. A retrospective review was conducted of HF discharges from 19 hospitals using GWTG HF in Wisconsin and Michigan from 2011-2014. Readmission rates were determined from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.
Results: 19 hospitals demonstrated improvement in the percentage of HF patients undergoing a follow-up visit within 7 days of hospital discharge when using GWTG HF as a QI program. As the percentage of HF patients receiving a follow-up visit within 7 days of hospital discharge increases, the number of readmissions decreases by 3% or 413 discharges over 4 years, which resulted in $5,369,000 cost savings.
Conclusions: An in-hospital QI program, such as GWTG HF, improves the percentage of HF patients receiving a follow-up visit with 7 days of hospital discharge. Adherence to patient follow up visits for HF patients within 7 days of discharge leads to reduction in readmission rates. This translates into significant healthcare cost saving directly related to readmission in this patient category. Larger studies using a higher number of hospitals participating in quality programs is recommended.
Author Disclosures: I. Thethi: None. K. Thomas: None. L. Mallas-Serdynski: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.