Hospitals may not support programs that improve the quality of care delivered to heart failure patients because these programs lower readmission rates and empty beds, and therefore further diminish already-declining revenues. A conflict between the highest quality of care and financial solvency does not serve the interests of patients, physicians, hospitals, or payers. In principle, resolution of this conflict-is simple: reimbursement systems should reward higher quality care. In practice, resolving the conflict is not simple. A recent roundtable discussion sponsored by the Heart Failure Society of America identified 4 major challenges to the design and implementation of reimbursement schemes that promote higher quality care for heart failure: defining quality, accounting for differences in disease severity, crafting novel payment mechanisms, and overcoming professional parochialism. This article describes each of these challenges in turn.
- Heart failure management
- Quality of care