Case Management

Sneak Peek: Helping CHF patients manage their condition to avoid unnecessary readmissions

Case Management Weekly, April 4, 2012

When case managers are looking at patients who are frequently readmitted to their facility within 30 days of their last discharge, chances are they'll find a lot of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients among them. That's because CHF patients typically have a higher readmission rate than any other disease, says Jan Lear, RN, CMC, director of case management at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC) in Baltimore.

Some of these hospitalizations are unavoidable as the disease progresses. But in other cases, helping CHF patients better manage their condition can keep them from needing an acute care admission.

At MFSMC, officials started an initiative in 2011 that has reduced unnecessary CHF-related readmissions from 10.2% to 9.5%. At a subacute care facility that has a CHF program partnership with MFSMC, readmission rates have dropped from 66% to 11% over the last 12 months, says Lear.

Other facilities are making similar progress. Jennifer Tatum, RN, a case manager at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in Mason City, says although the exact figures aren't in just yet, Mercy's newly minted CHF program is getting results.

This article is adapted from an article which originally appeared in the April Case Management Monthlypublished by HCPro, Inc.

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