ACC Names Final Round of Patient Navigator Program Hospitals

The final group of hospitals participating in the ACC Patient Navigator Program was announced on Oct. 28, bringing the total number to 35.  The program is the first of its kind in cardiology to support national efforts to reduce unnecessary patient readmissions related to heart attack and heart failure.

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Nearly one in five Medicare patients hospitalized with a heart attack and one in four Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to their original diagnosis. As of Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increased penalties for hospitals with excessive 30-day readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure and three other non-cardiac conditions to a maximum of 3 percent of related CMS reimbursements. Penalties were implemented beginning in 2012 and maximum penalties have increased annually by 1 percentage point.

"The Patient Navigator Program is a unique collaboration between the cardiovascular care team, patients and families to manage the stress of hospitalization for complex conditions in a way that allows patients to return home, remain healthy and avoid the need for readmission whenever possible," said ACC President Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, FACC. "The program also coincides with national initiatives to reduce readmission rates for patients with cardiovascular conditions."

After an initial implementation and assessment period, hospitals in the Patient Navigator Program will implement a variety of evidence-based processes to help their patients avoid readmissions. Processes can include scheduling seven-day follow up appointments and discussing and providing the patient with documentation of their treatment regimen, all prescribed medications and community resources. Established programs will serve as models that can be implemented in other hospitals as the initiative grows. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the program.

"It is an exciting milestone to see all 35 hospitals enrolled in the ACC Patient Navigator Program because now more patients and caregivers will have access to the support and services provided by the Patient Navigator teams in hospitals across the country," said Gregory F. Keenan, MD, vice president and U.S. head medical officer for AstraZeneca. "At AstraZeneca, we know that cardiovascular disease impacts each patient differently, and the needs of patients and caregivers are distinct and personal following a heart attack. That's why we're proud to be the founding sponsor of this program, and our hope is that supporting initiatives like this can help make a meaningful difference for patients and their families."

The 35 participating hospitals, chosen because of their commitment to quality as demonstrated by participation in the ACC's NCDR and Hospital to Home program, include:

  1. Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL.
  2. Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, WI
  3. Baptist Health Louisville, Louisville, KY
  4. Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
  5. California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  6. Christiana Care Health Services, Wilmington, DE
  7. Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
  8. Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital, Cleveland, OH
  9. Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, AL
  10. Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach, FL
  11. Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
  12. Lynchburg General Hospital Centra Health, Lynchburg, VA
  13. MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  14. Mercy Hospital, Portland, ME
  15. Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA
  16. Montefiore Medical Center, New York, NY
  17. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Barnabas Health Facility, Newark, NJ
  18. Olathe Medical Center, Olathe, KS
  19. Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, OR
  20. Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, Reno, NV
  21. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  22. St. Mary's Hospital, Waterbury, CT
  23. St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT
  24. Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, TX
  25. Tacoma General Hospital MultiCare Health System, Tacoma, WA
  26. Trident Health, Charleston, SC
  27. University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO
  28. UT Southwestern University Hospitals, Dallas, TX
  29. University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City, UT
  30. Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, Nashville, TN
  31. VCU Pauley Heart Center VCU Medical Center, Richmond, VA
  32. WakeMed Health and Hospital, Raleigh, NC
  33. West Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero, LA
  34. Western Maryland Health System, Cumberland, MD
  35. Wyoming Medical Center, Casper, WY

Additional information on the ACC Patient Navigator Program is available at

Clinical Topics: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: Cooperative Behavior, Follow-Up Studies, Patient Readmission, Heart Failure, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Patient Navigation, Patient Discharge, Hospitalization, Caregivers

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