Background: Prior studies suggest that disease management programs may be effective in improving clinical and economic outcomes in patients with heart failure. Whether these types of programs can lower health care cost and be adapted to the primary care setting is unknown. This study was designed to assess the impact of a home-based disease management program, the Alere DayLink HF Monitoring System (HFMS), on the clinical and economic outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries recently hospitalized for heart failure who received the care from a community-based primary care practitioner. Methods and Results: The Heart Failure Home Care trial was a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of sophisticated, monitoring of heart failure patients with an interactive program versus standard heart failure care with enhanced patient education and follow-up (SC) in Medicare-eligible patients. The study endpoints included cardiovascular death or rehospitalization for heart failure, length of hospital stay, total patient cost, and cost to Medicare at 6 months of enrollment. A total of 315 patients age ≥65 years old were randomized: 160 to the HFMS and 155 to SC. There were no significant statistical differences between the groups in regards to 6-month cardiac mortality, rehospitalizations for heart failure, or length of hospital stay. Of those, 304 patients had their Medicare data available. The information from the Medicare claims data was used to determine the cost. Information from the trial was used to determine costs of out-patient drugs and the interventions. The 6-month mean Medicare costs were estimated to be $17,837 and $13,886 for the HFMS and the SC groups, respectively. We found that overall medical costs of medicare patients were significantly higher for patients who were randomized to the HFMS arm than they were for the patients randomized to the SC arm. Conclusions: Our study results suggest that enhanced patient education and follow-up is as successful as a sophisticated home monitoring device with an interactive program and less costly in patients who are elderly and receive the care from a community-based primary care practitioner.
- Heart failure
- disease management programs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine