Objectives: We determined the effect of a targeted education and support intervention on the rate of readmission or death and hospital costs in patients with heart failure (HF).
Background: Disease management programs for patients with HF including medical components may reduce readmissions by 40% or more, but the value of an intervention focused on education and support is not known.
Methods: We conducted a prospective, randomized trial of a formal education and support intervention on one-year readmission or mortality and costs of care for patients hospitalized with HF.
Results: Among the 88 patients (44 intervention and 44 control) in the study, 25 patients (56.8%) in the intervention group and 36 patients (81.8%) in the control group had at least one readmission or died during one-year follow-up (relative risk = 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52, 0.92; p = 0.01). The intervention was associated with a 39% decrease in the total number of readmissions (intervention group: 49 readmissions; control group: 80 readmissions, p = 0.06). After adjusting for clinical and demographic characteristics, the intervention group had a significantly lower risk of readmission compared with the control group (hazard ratio = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.96; p = 0.03) and hospital readmission costs of $7,515 less per patient.
Conclusions: A formal education and support intervention substantially reduced adverse clinical outcomes and costs for patients with HF.