About Heart Failure
What is heart failure? Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body's needs. The heart may not be able to fill with enough blood or may not have enough strength to pump blood to the rest of the body. Some people have both problems ("What is Heart Failure," 2014, para. 1).
When the heart weakens, the ability to pump effectively diminish. The resulting symptoms of the decreased pump function may include blood and fluid back up into the lungs causing congestion and shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the lower extremities resulting in edema, fatigue and dyspnea ("Heart Failure," n.d., para. 2).
Heart failure (HF) is a syndrome characterized by high mortality, frequent hospitalization, poor quality of life, and multiple comorbidities ("2010 Comprehensive," 2010, para. 1). The management of HF patients is complex and costly. In 2010, there were 1 million hospitalizations for HF (Hall, Levant, & DeFrances, 2012, para. 1).
Due to the complexity of the disease and many comorbidities, the hospital readmission rates for HF are extremely high. Between the years 2007-2009, the 30 day readmission rate for HF was 24.8%. 61% of the readmissions happened within the first two weeks post discharge, with the median time for readmission was 12 days (VanBooven, 2013, p. 5).
HF-ACTION trial was a large randomized controlled trial of 2,331 HF patients enrolled in cardiac rehab in centers in the United States, Canada and France. After a 30 month follow-up, the cardiac rehab HF patients had an 11% reduction in hospitalizations and death from any cause. The results of the HF-ACTION trial prompted CMS to expand Medicare coverage of cardiac rehab to include the diagnosis of HF (Span, 2014, para. 10, 11, 12).
2010 Comprehensive heart failure practice guideline. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.heartfailureguideline.org/1_development_and_implementation/17
Hall, M. J., Levant, S., & DeFrances, C. J. (2012). Hospitalizations for congestive heart failure: united states, 2000-2010. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db108.htm
Heart failure. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/heartfailure.html
Span, P. (2014). A new benefit for heart failure patients. Retrieved from http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/a-new-benefit-for-heart-failure-patients/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&hpw&rref=health&_r=1
VanBooven, V. (2013). Readmission rates and statistics for the three major diagnoses falling under the current Medicare 30-day rule, and how home care can help. Retrieved from Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates website: http://www.reducehospitalreadmissionrates.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Reduce-Hospital-Readmission-Rates-by-LTC-Expert-Publications-Valerie-VanBooven-RN-BSN.pdf
What is heart failure? (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/
Centers for Disease Control. (2013). heart [diagram]. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/DHDSP/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_failure.htm