Process of care performance measures and long-term outcomes in patients hospitalized with heart failure

Mark E. Patterson, Adrian F. Hernandez, Bradley G. Hammill, Gregg C. Fonarow, Eric D. Peterson, Kevin A. Schulman, Lesley H. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Background: Recent efforts to improve care for patients hospitalized with heart failure have focused on process-based performance measures. Data supporting the link between current process measures and patient outcomes are sparse. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between adherence to hospital-level process measures and long-term patient-level mortality and readmission. Research desing: Analysis of data from a national clinical registry linked to outcome data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Subjects: A total of 22,750 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries enrolled in the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure between March 2003 and December 2004. Measures: Mortality at 1 year; cardiovascular readmission at 1 year; and adherence to hospital-level process measures, including discharge instructions, assessment of left ventricular function, prescription of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker at discharge, prescription of beta-blockers at discharge, and smoking cessation counseling for eligible patients. Results: Hospital conformity rates ranged from 52% to 86% across the 5 process measures. Unadjusted overall 1-year mortality and cardiovascular readmission rates were 33% and 40%, respectively. In covariate-adjusted analyses, the CMS composite score was not associated with 1-year mortality (hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.98-1.03; P = 0.91) or readmission (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.99-1.04; P = 0.37). Current CMS process measures were not independently associated with mortality, though prescription of beta-blockers at discharge was independently associated with lower mortality (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.90-098; P = 0.004). CONCLUSION: Hospital process performance for heart failure as judged by current CMS measures is not associated with patient outcomes within 1 year of discharge, calling into question whether existing CMS metrics can accurately discriminate hospital quality of care for heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • Mortality
  • Outcome and process assessment (health care)
  • Patient readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Process of care performance measures and long-term outcomes in patients hospitalized with heart failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this