Quality Check - Core Measures

 In your practice do you ever treat patients with Congestive Heart Failure?  Acute Myocardial Infarctions?  What about Pneumonia?  If so, then you need to be aware of what CMS and their expert panels have determined are “best practice” for patients who have these diagnoses. 

For patients treated with Congestive Heart Failure, they want to make sure we have accomplished the following before discharge:

  • Evaluation of LVS Function
  • If not contraindicated, discharge the patient on an ACEI or an ARB for LVS Function less than 40%
  • Provide each patient with complete discharge instructions - must include ALL of the following elements:
    • Daily Weights
    • Diet
    • Physical Activity
    • Reconciled Medication List
    • Follow-up appointment
    • What to do in case of worsening symptoms

All of the above must be documented in the medical record in order for you to get full credit for meeting the core measure requirements. 

Did you know that during the reporting period of 4-1-2011 to 3-31-2012, Hospital Compare indicated that 100% of our patients were evaluated for LVS function, 93% of the patients were discharged on an ACEI or ARB if indicated by their LVSD, and 90% of our patients had complete discharge instructions when they left the hospital?  The data are publically reportable and more consumers are checking out how we stack up against other facilities in the city, state, and nationally. 

Another important component of the Heart Failure core measure is that CMS has targeted Heart Failure as one of the disease processes that they monitor for readmissions within 30-days.  They are no longer going to pay health care facilities for the second admission.  The discharge instruction component of the Heart Failure core measure is designed to assure the patient is properly educated about their disease process, what they can do to manage it at home, that they are connected with a provider post-hospitalization to contact if their symptoms worsen or they notice an increase in weight from one day to the next.  Your attention to making sure the discharge instructions have been completed and documented for your Heart Failure patients is one of the keys to reducing readmissions and improving the quality of life for the individual.

To learn more about the Heart Failure core measure or any of the others, contact the Quality Management Department at 1-4324.