Home-Time After Discharge Among Patients Hospitalized With Heart Failure

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Jun 12;71(23):2643-2652. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.03.517.


Background: Surveys of patients with cardiovascular disease have suggested that "home-time"-being alive and out of any health care institution-is a prioritized outcome. This novel measure has not been studied among patients with heart failure (HF).

Objectives: This study sought to characterize home-time following hospitalization for HF and assess its relationship with patient characteristics and traditionally reported clinical outcomes.

Methods: Using GWTG-HF (Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure) registry data, patients discharged alive from an HF hospitalization between 2011 and 2014 and ≥65 years of age were identified. Using Medicare claims, post-discharge home-time over 30-day and 1-year follow-up was calculated for each patient as the number of days alive and spent outside of a hospital, skilled nursing facility (SNF), or rehabilitation facility.

Results: Among 59,736 patients, 57,992 (97.1%) and 42,153 (70.6%) had complete follow-up for home-time calculation through 30 days and 1 year, respectively. The mean home-time was 21.6 ± 11.7 days at 30 days and 243.9 ± 137.6 days at 1 year. Contributions to reduced home-time varied by follow-up period, with days spent in SNF being the largest contributor though 30 days and death being the largest contributor through 1 year. Over 1 year, 2,044 (4.8%) patients had no home-time following index hospitalization discharge, whereas 8,194 (19.4%) had 365 days of home-time. In regression models, several conditions were associated with substantially reduced home-time, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal insufficiency, and dementia. Through 1 year, home-time was highly correlated with time-to-event endpoints of death (tau = 0.72) and the composite of death or HF readmission (tau = 0.59).

Conclusions: Home-time, which can be readily calculated from administrative claims data, is substantially reduced for many patients following hospitalization for HF and is highly correlated with traditional time-to-event mortality and hospitalization outcomes. Home-time represents a novel, easily measured, patient-centered endpoint that may reflect effectiveness of interventions in future HF studies.

Keywords: heart failure; hospitalization; outcomes; patient-centered; post-discharge.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / mortality*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge / trends*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Self Care / mortality*
  • Self Care / trends*