Heart failure program leads to 30 percent reduction in readmissions

A heart failure program at the University of California, San Francisco, has reduced readmissions by 30 percent, according to an article in the New York Times.

According to the article, the approach involves nurses spending at least an hour with heart failure patients to make sure that they understand their condition, dietary restrictions, and medications.  Other hospitals in the state plan to have similar programs in place by 2012, when Medicare will reduce payments to hospitals with higher than expected rates of readmissions for conditions including heart failure. 

It is estimated that the program saves Medicare at least $1 million per year.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, September 6, 2011; The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com, September 3, 2011)