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June 23, 1997

Hospital Readmissions for Elderly Patients With Congestive Heart Failure

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(12):1393. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440330137023

The article by Krumholz et al1 on hospital readmission for congestive heart failure (CHF) among Medicare beneficiaries is sobering. That this is not a local phenomenon in Connecticut is supported by the recent report of a similar finding in California by Baker et al.2 In contrast to the 50% readmission rate within 6 months reported by Krumholz et al, Baker et al reported 60% of the patients with a mean age of 64 years being readmitted for CHF within 90 days after discharge.

Thus, although recent advances in the treatment of CHF may have improved survival, especially with the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors,3-6 they have not affected positively hospital readmissions nationwide. The data presented from both Connecticut and California lend credence to the need for cost-effective, individualized interventions not only to improve the outcome of patients with CHF during their initial hospitalization but also to prevent

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