Program designed to support heart failure patients and reduce hospital readmissions Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2013 – MedStar Heart Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, has been selected as one of 11 hospitals in the country to participate in the first-ever American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program designed to help support heart attack and heart failure patients most at risk for readmission.
The ACC created the program in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services focus on reducing excessive readmissions for heart attack and heart failure. The program will help establish a team of patient navigators who will help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge, when they are at most risk for readmission. It is built upon increasing evidence that personalized support can be effective, in both helping a patient make a smooth and effective transition from hospital to home and in reducing avoidable readmissions. “We’re pleased to be included in this pioneering program and proud to be in such good company,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, physician executive director, MedStar Heart Institute. “We’ve already established many of our own initiatives to reduce hospitals readmissions, and our participation in the ACC program will help us to further develop innovative strategies and best practices that can be applied not only locally, but nationally, to improve patient care.” Across the U.S., nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack, and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure end up back in the hospital within 30 days of discharge–often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis. Readmissions can be related to issues such as anxiety while in the hospital, fragility on discharge, lack of a full understanding of discharge instructions, as well as other barriers to carrying out those instructions. “We’ve already begun to put together the program team, including working with MedStar Visiting Nurses Association,” added Allen J. Taylor, MD, chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart Institute. “This partnership will help to ensure a seamless transition from hospital to home for each patient, and help to connect them with needed services, education and follow-up appointments. And, it enhances our deep commitment to the continual pursuit of the highest quality care.” Out of 132 hospitals initially surveyed about the program, 120 expressed interest in participating. Eleven hospitals were chosen for the first phase of the program, with an additional 24 hospitals slated to join by the end of 2015. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.
About MedStar Heart Institute
MedStar Heart Institute, headquartered at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, is a national leader in the research, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and has been the premier destination for cardiac care in the nation's capital for more than 50 years. U.S.News & World Report and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons consistently recognize the Washington region’s preeminent heart program as one of the nation’s best. In 2013, MedStar Heart Institute entered into a first-of-its-kind clinical and research alliance with world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, uniting two of the nation’s top heart programs. Together, the two organizations will bring the most promising, innovative cardiac care and research to the Washington, D.C. region. Visit us at www.MedStarHeartInstitute.org.
About the American College of Cardiology
The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit CardioSource.org/ACC.