Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elderly heart failure patients who need skilled nursing care often sicker, have poorer outcomes

Date:
March 29, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Elderly patients who are discharged to skilled nursing care after hospitalization for heart failure often have other complications as well and typically are at higher risk for poor outcomes. These patients are more likely than other heart failure patients to die or be rehospitalized within one year. Skilled nursing facility patients, families and health-care providers need to be prepared for potential poor outcome, investigators said.

Elderly patients with heart failure who need skilled nursing care after hospital discharge are often sicker, at higher risk for poor outcomes and are more likely than other patients to die or be rehospitalized within one year, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

"Patients hospitalized with heart failure are high risk to start with," said Larry A. Allen, M.D., M.H.S., lead author of the study and assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine in Aurora. "If they have to go to a skilled nursing facility, patients, families and providers shouldn't be under the impression that life will, necessarily, go back to normal. We should help patients and their families recognize this high risk and adjust their medical decision making appropriately."

Heart failure affects nearly 6 million Americans, and is the primary cause of hospitalizations among Medicare patients. Although many of these patients are discharged to skilled nursing facilities, the type of treatment they receive often varies.

A skilled nursing facility is similar to a nursing home, but can also provide specialized care, such as physical therapy, for patients unable to resume independent living. Skilled nursing patients may by nature face extra challenges, including less mobility, cognitive impairment or poor in-home support ― all of which are determinants to outcomes.

"We don't have a lot of data about the quality of care given in these facilities," Allen said. "This analysis highlights the need to better understand this unique group of patients and the care they receive.

Are they and their families getting information they need to make informed decisions on alternatives to care for short- and long-term prognosis?"

Allen and colleagues analyzed data on 15,459 Medicare patients ― enrolled in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelinesฎ-Heart Failure program at 149 hospitals in 2005 and 2006 ― and discharged from the hospital after three or more days of heart failure treatment. Patients' average age was 80, most were white and 55 percent were female. The researchers found that:

  • About one-fourth of patients were discharged to a skilled nursing facility.
  • Thirty days post-discharge, 14 percent of patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities had died of any cause, compared to 4 percent of those who returned home from the hospital.
  • At one year, 54 percent of patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities had died of any cause, compared to 29 percent of patients discharged to home.

Furthermore, there was a higher rehospitalization rate among patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities. Thirty days after initial hospital discharge, 27 percent of patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities were rehospitalized for any cause, compared to 24 percent of patients discharged to home. One year after discharge, rehospitalizations were common in both groups, although the difference between them remained steady, with 76 percent of skilled nursing and 72 percent of home patients readmitted to the hospital.

Patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities were more likely than other patients to be older, female, hospitalized longer and to have other complications in addition to heart failure.

"Even after adjusting for patient differences, a strong predictor of mortality in the next year was discharge to a skilled nursing facility," Allen said. "This has important implications for talking to patients and their families during the initial hospitalization for heart failure.

They need to have clear expectations for survival and rehospitalization. Options for advanced therapies and end-of-life care, including hospice and advanced directives, should be discussed for these high-risk patients."

Skilled nursing use varied by region. The highest rate was in the northeastern United States, where nearly one-third of heart-failure patients left the hospital for skilled nursing facilities. The lowest was in the west, where about one-fourth required this type of care.

Co-authors are: Adrian F. Hernandez, M.D.; Eric D. Peterson, M.D.; Lesley H. Curtis, Ph.D.; David Dai, Ph.D.; Frederick A. Masoudi, M.D.; Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D.; Paul A. Heidenreich, M.D.; and Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D. Author disclosures and funding information are on the manuscript.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Elderly heart failure patients who need skilled nursing care often sicker, have poorer outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329163123.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, March 29). Elderly heart failure patients who need skilled nursing care often sicker, have poorer outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329163123.htm
American Heart Association. "Elderly heart failure patients who need skilled nursing care often sicker, have poorer outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329163123.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins