Authors: Ubolrat Piamjariyakul, Carol E. Smith, Marilyn Werkowitch, Andrea Elyachar, Sharon Fitzgerald, Chanawee Prinyarux and James L. Vacek
Objectives: To identify annual utilization of healthcare services and to estimate costs to families managing complex heart failure (HF) home care.
Background: HF is a major public health problem associated with substantial morbidity, frequent episodes of acute exacerbation, and the need for potentially expensive long-term chronic care.
Method: A descriptive method design was used. The frequencies of healthcare services use and estimated annual charges for patients’ reported health services were collected and tabulated across the sample. Overall satisfaction scores of each healthcare service were also calculated.
Results: The estimated annual costs based on average charges for each service for patients (N=181) were $24,055 for the complex HF home care. Approximately 40% of patients telephoned their physicians and a pharmacist, but almost none contacted other health professionals.
Conclusion: Teaching symptom recognition and encouraging early contact to HF health professionals to report concerns may help avoid complications and the need for more intensive and expensive services.
Keywords: heart failure, cost, home care, health services