Heart failure is a serious, chronic condition that requires patients to make lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy quality of life. Patients that fail to make the necessary changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle are typically unable to manage their heart failure symptoms and are at risk for readmission to the hospital.
USA Today reports that, “one of every four heart failure patients must be readmitted within 30 days of discharge.” The high rate of readmission for heart failure patients results from their inability to adequately self-manage the condition, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Readmissions can often be avoided by activating patients to manage their health and educating them on how to do so. The multiphase Heart Failure Pathway is a comprehensive curriculum that empowers patients to understand their condition and better care for themselves at home. Patients proceed at their own pace through the four phases of the Heart Failure Pathway.
The patient’s progress with the Heart Failure Pathway is recorded and available for reporting from the Management Console. Progress and tasks can also be automatically documented to the patient’s EMR. Nurses and staff can monitor the patient’s real-time progress and help them stay on course. To quickly identify patients that need assistance, staff can access overview reports that monitor the progress of all patients using the Heart Failure Pathway.
Decrease Cost per Case
Payment reform is dramatically changing hospital reimbursements, fueling a shift from volume based to value based care delivery. With the introduction of bundled payments, hospitals are responsible for the patient’s care for up to 30 days post discharge. This means that hospitals will not receive additional payment for heart failure patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge.
According to the AHRQ, Medicare Heart Failure patients are the leading cost per case liability with 24.7% returning within 30 days. By reducing that rate at which patients are being readmitted, hospitals can reduce the cost per case of heart failure patients thereby improving profitability.
Improve Quality and Satisfaction
Under the Value Based Purchasing Program – hospital reimbursement is impacted by performance, measured by HCAHPS and Care Measures. The GetWellNetwork Heart Failure Pathway can impact outcomes in both of these areas by improving compliance with the process of caring for heart failure patients and improving the patient’s perception of the care process. Specifically, the Heart Failure Pathway improves hospital compliance with discharge instructions and patient satisfaction with medication teaching and the discharge process, resulting in decreased hospital readmissions.