Heart Failure Patients pay More for Quality Care

Hospitals that see more patients with congestive heart failure provide quality care, but they also have higher bills, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, partially funded by the American Heart Association, consisted of patients over the age of 65 with congestive heart failure in 4,095 American hospitals.

Researchers found that the more cases of heart failure a hospital receives, the more likely an individual patient admitted with the disease will survive. In their sample group, patients had a 2 percent higher likelihood of surviving heart failure when treated in a hospital that saw 17 or more cases per month, as compared with a hospital that saw nine or less. In addition, patients treated in a high-volume hospital also had lower rates of readmission.

However, these increased survival and recovery rates are not without a cost. Researchers found that heart failure care at a low-volume hospital costs around $7,200, but at a high-volume hospital with increased survival odds, treatment care costs around $8,400.

Heart failure results in about 1.1 million hospitalizations per year, according to the American Heart Association. Those at risk for a serious ailment should consider a life insurance policy.

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