Embargoed until Monday, June 3, 2019 8 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. ET
DALLAS, June 3, 2019 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, with support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, announced the launch of an educational pilot program intended to reduce hospital readmission rates of heart failure patients in Dallas-Fort Worth.
There are an estimated 6.2 million Americans living with heart failure and prevalence continues to rise, with over eight million Americans projected to be diagnosed by 2030. The chronic condition accounts for approximately 900,000 hospitalizations annually, which is nearly two hospitalizations every minute. Further, the Association recognizes an immediate need to support North Texas residents through this educational pilot program as the death rates for heart failure are higher in Dallas and Tarrant counties than the U.S. average. Heart failure management is critical to preventing hospital readmissions and reducing the likelihood of further cardiovascular incidents and death.
The pilot, a continuation of the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative, will take place at JPS Health Network, Medical City Plano and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. It will feature onsite tutorials for health care professionals and heart failure patients and their families, including advancements in heart failure diagnosis, quality improvement for hospital systems and an introduction to the American Heart Association’s HF Path, a free self-management mobile application for heart failure patients to better manage and live with the condition.
“We are honored to continue our long-standing partnership with the American Heart Association on the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative,” said Fabrice Chouraqui, president and head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “This initiative confirms our commitment to improving the lives of patients with heart failure. Hospital re-admissions are a result of the condition progressing and they can create significant emotional and physical burdens on patients. Together with the American Heart Association, we strongly believe in the impact we can make to prevent readmissions by increasing patient-provider communications and empowering patients to be their own greatest advocates.”
Through the program, the Association will provide onsite professional education sessions to support healthcare providers. Health care providers will be coached to follow up with patients seven days following hospital discharge and offer discharge toolkits to take home with care management suggestions.
“We have set a goal to make a measurable impact on heart failure by empowering patients to actively participate in their care and better manage their condition to keep them out of the hospital,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, volunteer expert from the American Heart Association. “We also want to serve as an extension of care to patients for health care providers and continue to promote scientific discussions to advance early detection and treatment.”
HF Path allows patients to track medications, scan daily weight fluctuations and manage symptoms to monitor for warning signs and inform users when further evaluation by a health care team, may be needed. It also offers an emotional support component that allows interpersonal communication through the American Heart Association’s Support Network and a messaging system to encourage patients to share their stories and connect with one another.
“It takes a health care team to manage heart failure,” said Fonarow. “We encourage patients to lean on their support system, caregivers, health care teams and available resources from the American Heart Association like HF Path, to effectively treat their heart failure, prevent hospitalizations and live longer, healthier lives.”
The pilot will continue for one year with the intention to extend and expand to other markets in the U.S. For more information on heart failure and Rise Above Heart Failure visit www.heart.org/riseabovehf or click here.
About the American Heart Association
For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173
Kimberly Haller: Kimberly.Haller@heart.org, (214) 706-4858
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)