Effect of a home monitoring system on hospitalization and resource use for patients with heart failure AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Heidenreich, P. A., Ruggerio, C. M., Massie, B. M. 1999; 138 (4): 633-640


Heart failure has a large medical and economic impact on the elderly. Past studies have shown that high-intensity multidisciplinary interventions at academic medical centers can reduce future hospitalizations. Our pilot study examined the effects of a low-intensity monitoring program on hospitalizations and cost of care for patients with heart failure treated by community physicians.We enrolled 68 patients with heart failure (mean age 73 +/- 13 years, 53% male) monitored by 31 physicians in a multidisciplinary program of patient education, daily self-monitoring, and physician notification of abnormal weight gain, vital signs, and symptoms. Comparisons of medical claims were made between the patients who received the intervention and a control group of 86 patients matched to the intervention group on medical claims during the preceding year.Compared with the prior year, medical claims per year decreased in the intervention group ($8500 +/- $13,000 to $7400 +/- $11,400), whereas they increased in the control group ($9200 +/- $15,000 to $18,800 +/- $34,000, P <.05). Similar differences were observed for hospitalizations and total hospital days. The program's effectiveness was unrelated to age, sex, or type of left ventricular dysfunction.These findings suggest that a multidisciplinary program of patient education, monitoring, and physician notification can reduce resource use in patients with heart failure managed in a community setting.

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View details for PubMedID 10502207