A Retrospective Comparison of Home Telehealth and Nursing Care With or Without Rehabilitation Therapy on Rehospitalization Rates of Individuals With Heart Failure

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the most common reason for rehospitalization among the aging population, accounting for one-fifth of all hospital admissions. To date, there is no research comparing the rehospitalization rates between patients with CHF (PWCHF) who receive telehealth and home health nursing care versus a multidisciplinary team consisting of telehealth, home nursing, physical therapy (PT), and/or occupational therapy (OT).

METHODS:

A retrospective analysis was performed with 132 Medicare Part A home health patients discharged from an inpatient setting with a primary or secondary diagnosis of CHF receiving daily telehealth over the course of 1 year. Allscripts Home Care and Lifestream software was used to query data from patient records. Rehospitalization rates were analyzed using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests. Patients were divided into 3 groups: (1) nursing only; (2) nursing and PT or OT; or (3) nursing, PT, and OT.

RESULTS:

A total of 41 of the 132 patients (31.06%) were rehospitalized during their home health 60-day episode of care. This percentage includes all-cause rehospitalizations. Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests indicated there were no differences in rehospitalization rates between the 3 groups after controlling for the confounding variables: (1) multiple hospitalizations (P = .15); (2) history of falls (P = .16); or (3) depression (P = .18).

CONCLUSIONS:

There was no statistically significant difference between the 3 groups for all-cause rehospitalization rates. Further prospective research is required to determine best practices and multidisciplinary protocols to further reduce rehospitalization rates in this population.

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