Identify high-risk HF patients, guide them into care programs, and reduce hospitalizations and costs.
Heart failure — sometimes known as congestive heart failure — occurs when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. When this happens, blood often backs up and fluid can build up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath. Certain heart conditions, such as narrowed arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, gradually leave the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump blood properly.Proper treatment can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and may help some people live longer. Lifestyle changes — such as losing weight, exercising, reducing salt (sodium) in your diet and managing stress — can improve your quality of life. However, heart failure can be life-threatening. People with heart failure may have severe symptoms, and some may need a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device (VAD).
Today, approximately 6.5 million adult Americans are living with heart failure (HF) (1).By 2030, this is estimated to rise to 8 million people with total economic costs reaching $70 billion at which point 2.97% of U.S. adults will have HF and 71% of them will be age 65 or older (2). With more than one million hospitalizations each year, HF is one of the most common causes of admissions and readmissions and a leading cause of mortality; after a diagnosis of HF, survival estimates are 50% and 10% at five and ten years, respectively (3).Beneficiaries with HF constitute 10.5% of all FFS Medicare beneficiaries and their costs (excluding medications) make up 33.2% of all Medicare costs (4). HF is a chronic disease characterized by acute exacerbation, and a major cost driver is treatment for worsening HF and fluid overload, 80% of which occurs in inpatient settings (2,3). Many instances of hospitalization for HF patients are considered preventable, yet HF remains the leading cause of hospitalization for patients over age 65 (2,5). HF admissions also generate the highest number and highest rate of 30-day readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries (6,7).
Organizations can employ predictive analytics to identify high risk HF patients and use insights from AI to enroll patients in care management programs. Proactively identifying high-risk HF patients and intervening to prevent significant exacerbations that cause hospitalization is essential to improving quality of life and reducing avoidable costs. For example, interventions centered on patient self-management have been shown to reduce the odds of readmission after one year by 40% (8). Such programs prevent hospitalizations by strengthening care continuity, improving adherence to complex medication regimens, and ultimately identifying early warning signs more readily.