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Editorial |

Hospitalizations for Heart Failure in the United States—A Sign of Hope

Mihai Gheorghiade, MD; Eugene Braunwald, MD
JAMA. 2011;306(15):1705-1706. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1510.
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Heart failure (HF) is the most common cause of hospitalization in patients older than 65 years in the United States.1 In the early 1990s, data from clinical trials and registries demonstrated that in patients hospitalized with HF, mortality and rehospitalization rates could be as high as 15% and 30%, respectively, at 60 to 90 days after discharge.2,3 During this period, major efforts were directed toward reducing the length of stay in patients hospitalized with HF.4 Performance measures were developed and later adopted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with the intent to improve postdischarge outcomes.5 Although these measures were implemented across the country, the rehospitalization rate for patients with HF did not appear to decrease.4,6 Recently, because of changes in CMS reimbursement patterns, the focus has shifted toward 30-day postdischarge readmission rates as a measure of care.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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