Comprehensive Heart Failure Program At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

January 04, 1999

LOS ANGELES (January 4, 1998) -- Seven active research protocols currently under way at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are part of a new program that has set its sights on one of the largest single diagnoses in cardiology -- congestive heart failure. The seven clinical trials, many of which are randomized and study the effectiveness and dosages of various medications, are collectively one part of the medical center's Comprehensive Heart Failure program. The second component in this unique program involves making Cedars-Sinai cardiologists available to primary care and other physicians in the community in a consultative capacity. Through this two-pronged approach, researchers hope to identify at-risk patients much earlier when interventions are more effective and can often be less invasive.

According to one of the lead investigators, Americo Simonini, M.D., between 4.5 and 5 million people per year are diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and that number is expected to increase to 7 million per year by the year 2010. The cost last year alone, was a staggering $11 billion. Ninety-five percent of individuals with congestive heart failure are presently admitted to the hospital through the emergency department, and they require an average inpatient hospital stay of six to seven days.

By identifying at-risk patients much earlier, and initiating appropriate treatment earlier, researchers hope to be able to stop the progression of heart disease in these individuals, thereby enabling them to stay healthier, remain at home and ultimately avoid some of the most invasive treatments such as surgery or heart transplant. Such measures will not only result in a better quality of life for the patient, but also in reduced costs for healthcare services. For example, one component of the program is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week pharmacy service where patients can call in when they need an adjustment to their heart medication. At present, many patients make an emergency room visit when what they really need is a medicine change or adjustment.

"Congestive heart failure is a disease of the aging," says Dr. Simonini. "As Americans live longer and longer, they are surviving such diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes. As they grow older, the likelihood of congestive heart failure increases. By working with primary care physicians and others in the community, we hope to identify at-risk patients early, provide appropriate treatment early and track the results for even better heart care in the future."
For more information on this program, please call 1-800-CEDARS-1 1-800-233-2771.

For media information and to arrange an interview, please call 1-800-396-1002. (NOTE: This telephone number is exclusively for media use. Please do not publish it in your story. Thank you.)

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS: Americo Simonini, M.D., Cardiologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Robert Davidson, M.D., Cardiologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Steven Kahn, M.D., Director of Clinical Trials, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
P.K. Shah, M.D., Chairman, Division of Cardiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Professor of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Primary Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Continuity of English primary care has worsened with GP expansions
A new study published by the British Journal of General Practice has found that patients' abilities to see their preferred GP has fallen greater in English practices that have expanded, compared with those that stayed about the same size.

Primary care office-based vs telemedicine care visits during COVID-19 pandemic
This observational study quantified national changes in the volume, type and content of primary care delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to office-based visits compared with telemedicine encounters.

Expenditures for primary care may affect how primary care is delivered
This study looks at trends in out-of-pocket and total visit expenditures for visits to primary care physicians.

Primary care clinicians drove increasing use of Medicare's chronic care management codes
To address the problem of care fragmentation for Medicare recipients with multiple chronic conditions, Medicare introduced Chronic Care Management (CCM) in 2015 to reimburse clinicians for care management and coordination.

Primary care at a crossroads: Experts call for change
Primary care providers have experienced a rise in responsibilities with little or no increase in the time they have to get it all done, or reduction in the number of patients assigned to them.

Primary care physicians during the COVID-19 epidemic
Scientists from the University of Geneva has analysed clinical data from more than 1,500 ambulatory patients tested for COVID-19.

The five phases of pandemic care for primary care
The authors present a roadmap for necessary primary care practice transformations to care for patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women almost twice as likely to choose primary care as men
Analysis of osteopathic medical school survey data reveals women are 1.75 times more likely to choose primary care than men, according to a study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

Read More: Primary Care News and Primary Care Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to