Medicare's and Medicaid's newly extended cardiac rehabilitation coverage for chronic heart failure patients with symptoms has tripled the number who are now eligible, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.
Chronic heart failure patients are at high risk for serious health problems and declines. The new coverage includes those who are on optimal medical therapy and have less than 35 percent ejection fraction, which is a measure of the heart's pumping ability.
Researchers analyzed Medicare patient information in the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure registry from 2008 to 2012, comparing patients who were previously eligible for cardiac rehab due to prior heart attack, heart valve surgery or other events in the previous 12 months; newly eligible heart failure patients; and patients who are ineligible for cardiac rehabilitation.
They found that newly eligible patients were more likely to be black and have atrial fibrillation, while having fewer previous hospitalizations than patients previously eligible for cardiac rehabilitation. Newly eligible and ineligible patients had similar risks of dying in the next year compared with those who were previously eligible. However, newly eligible and ineligible patients had lower 90-day and one-year hospital readmissions compared with those previously eligible.
Note: Actual presentation is 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015.
For more news from the AHA's Scientific Sessions 2015 follow us on Twitter @HeartNews # AHA15.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.
For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:
AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173
AHA News Media Office, Nov. 7-11, 2015
at the Orange County Convention Center: (407) 685-5401
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org
Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.