UCSF Program Reduces Hospital Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients
UC-San Francisco recently announced that its program to help transition patients to their homes has cut hospital readmissions by nearly one-third for older heart failure patients, Fierce Healthcare reports (Cheung, Fierce Healthcare, 7/12).
UCSF launched its Heart Failure Program at UCSF Medical Center in 2008 with a $575,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
The program focuses on training patients about managing heart disease and asking patients to explain what they have learned to health care staff. The program also emphasizes early follow-up appointments and open communication amongÂ patients' various health care providers (UCSF release, 7/6).
UCSF noted that over the past 11 months, about 16% of the hospital's heart failure patients were readmitted within a month after discharge, down from 23% in 2006, before the launch of the heart failure program.
According to UCSF, the drop in readmissions suggests that the program prevented about 40 patients from being readmitted to the hospital. UCSF officials said that averting 40 readmissions per year could:
- Cut Medicare costs by $1 million annually;
- Enable more patients to recover at home; and
- Free up more hospital beds (Fierce Healthcare, 7/12).