Reducing Heart Failure Readmissions: The Story of UCSF Medical Center

eAlert f689cfce-84ee-4b3a-8f2d-fc0fb38317a9

<p>Heart failure is a serious and costly condition affecting up to one of 10 older people. Nationally, half of Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted to the hospital within six months, a reflection of the difficulty patients and family caregivers face in successfully managing this chronic condition. </p><p>In a new <a href="/publications/case-study/2012/nov/university-california-san-francisco-medical-center-reducing">Commonwealth Fund case study,</a> Douglas McCarthy tells the story of how UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco was able to slash rates of all-cause heart failure readmissions for its elderly patient population—by 46 percent for 30-day readmissions. UCSF leaders launched a program in 2008 that stressed enhanced patient education and follow-up care connections to improve patients' successful transition to home care or skilled nursing care. The program, which emphasizes staff collaboration and communication, is now being expanded to younger patients. </p>
<p>The case study is the first in The Commonwealth Fund's <em>Innovations in Care Transitions</em> series. Coming soon are case studies of an asthma improvement collaborative at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s CHOICE Health Plans, which provide fully integrated care for adults with special needs. </p>