Home-Time After Discharge Among Patients Hospitalized With Heart Failure

Stephen J. Greene, Emily C. O'Brien, Robert J. Mentz, Nancy Luo, N. Chantelle Hardy, Warren K. Laskey, Paul A. Heidenreich, Chun Lan Chang, Stuart J. Turner, Clyde W. Yancy, Adrian F. Hernandez, Lesley H. Curtis, Pamela N. Peterson, Gregg C. Fonarow, Bradley G. Hammill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Surveys of patients with cardiovascular disease have suggested that “home-time”—being alive and out of any health care institution—is a prioritized outcome. This novel measure has not been studied among patients with heart failure (HF). Objectives: This study sought to characterize home-time following hospitalization for HF and assess its relationship with patient characteristics and traditionally reported clinical outcomes. Methods: Using GWTG-HF (Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure) registry data, patients discharged alive from an HF hospitalization between 2011 and 2014 and ≥65 years of age were identified. Using Medicare claims, post-discharge home-time over 30-day and 1-year follow-up was calculated for each patient as the number of days alive and spent outside of a hospital, skilled nursing facility (SNF), or rehabilitation facility. Results: Among 59,736 patients, 57,992 (97.1%) and 42,153 (70.6%) had complete follow-up for home-time calculation through 30 days and 1 year, respectively. The mean home-time was 21.6 ± 11.7 days at 30 days and 243.9 ± 137.6 days at 1 year. Contributions to reduced home-time varied by follow-up period, with days spent in SNF being the largest contributor though 30 days and death being the largest contributor through 1 year. Over 1 year, 2,044 (4.8%) patients had no home-time following index hospitalization discharge, whereas 8,194 (19.4%) had 365 days of home-time. In regression models, several conditions were associated with substantially reduced home-time, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal insufficiency, and dementia. Through 1 year, home-time was highly correlated with time-to-event endpoints of death (tau = 0.72) and the composite of death or HF readmission (tau = 0.59). Conclusions: Home-time, which can be readily calculated from administrative claims data, is substantially reduced for many patients following hospitalization for HF and is highly correlated with traditional time-to-event mortality and hospitalization outcomes. Home-time represents a novel, easily measured, patient-centered endpoint that may reflect effectiveness of interventions in future HF studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2643-2652
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 12 2018


  • heart failure
  • hospitalization
  • outcomes
  • patient-centered
  • post-discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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