Over 26 million adults in the US are diagnosed with heart failure – a substantial patient burden as well as burden on our healthcare system. Hospitalizations, re-hospitalizations, and death as a result of heart failure are disappointingly high. Rehospitalizations affect 30-40% of patients with acute heart failure within 90 days. After discharge ~1/3 of patients die within 1 year. The need for new therapies, improved awareness and knowledge, and improved outcomes are indisputably needed.1
There are currently many agents in development, including LCZ696 from Novartis, ivabradine from Amgen, and vepoloxamer (MST-188) from Mast Pharmaceuticals. These agents are expected to give patients an alternative to the currently available treatments.
In 2007, CMS and HQA began to publicly report 30-day mortality, which now also includes 30-day readmission for these conditions. The public reporting of these measures is meant to increase the transparency of hospital care, so patients have this information as they select their care centers.2
While new medications and increased transparency surrounding heart failure are intended to improve outcomes, these are not the only elements that will lead to improvements. Working with community groups IE has shown that patient awareness of disease and education are critical to their understanding of treatment, adherence and lifestyle modifications. These community activities have been featured in a previous blog. Increasing patient awareness and knowledge is fundamental to managing heart failure.
1 Pang PS, Givertz MM. The Challenge of Drug Development in Acute Heart Failure: Balancing Mechanisms, Targeting Patients, and Gambling on Outcomes∗. JCHF. 2013;1(5):442-444. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2013.08.004.