Temporal Trends and Variation in Early Scheduled Follow-Up After a Hospitalization for Heart Failure: Findings from Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure. Circulation. Heart failure DeVore, A. D., Cox, M., Eapen, Z. J., Yancy, C. W., Bhatt, D. L., Heidenreich, P. A., Peterson, E. D., Fonarow, G. C., Hernandez, A. F. 2016; 9 (1)


Previous data demonstrate early follow-up (ie, within 7 days of discharge) after a hospitalization for heart failure is associated with a lower risk of readmission, yet is uncommon and varies widely across hospitals. Limited data exist on whether the use of early follow-up after discharge has improved over time.We used data from Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) linked to Medicare claims to examine temporal trends in early follow-up and to assess for patient and hospital characteristics associated with early scheduled follow-up. In the overall GWTG-HF cohort, we studied 52,438 patients discharged from 239 hospitals from 2009 to 2012. Scheduled early follow-up at the time of hospital discharge rose from 51% to 65% over time (P<0.001). After multivariable adjustment, patients with older age (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.07), certain comorbidities (anemia, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease), and the use of anticoagulation at discharge (odds ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.22) were associated with greater likelihood for early scheduled follow-up. Patients treated in hospitals located in the Midwest (odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-0.91) were less likely to have early scheduled follow-up. In a subset of patients with linked Medicare claims, we observed smaller improvements in actual early follow-up visits over time from 26% to 30% (P=0.005).From 2009 to 2012, there was improvement in early scheduled outpatient follow-up and, in the subset analyzed, improvement in actual early follow-up visits for hospitalized patients with heart failure. However, substantial opportunities remain for improving heart failure transitional care.

View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.115.002344

View details for PubMedID 26754624