NYMC Faculty Publications

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The American Journal of Medicine

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BACKGROUND: Beta-blockers improve outcomes in patients with systolic heart failure. However, it is unknown whether their initial negative inotropic effect may increase 30-day all-cause readmission, a target outcome for Medicare cost reduction and financial penalty for hospitals under the Affordable Care Act.

METHODS: Of the 3067 Medicare beneficiaries discharged alive from 106 Alabama hospitals (1998-2001) with a primary discharge diagnosis of heart failure and ejection fraction

RESULTS: Beta-blocker use was not associated with 30-day all-cause readmission (hazard ratio [HR] 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-1.18) or heart failure readmission (HR 0.95; 95% CI, 0.57-1.58), but was significantly associated with lower 30-day all-cause mortality (HR 0.29; 95% CI, 0.12-0.73). During 4-year postdischarge, those in the beta-blocker group had lower mortality (HR 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67-0.98) and combined outcome of all-cause mortality or all-cause readmission (HR 0.87; 95% CI, 0.74-0.97), but not with all-cause readmission (HR 0.89; 95% CI, 0.76-1.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Among hospitalized older patients with systolic heart failure, discharge prescription of beta-blockers was associated with lower 30-day all-cause mortality and 4-year combined death or readmission outcomes without higher 30-day readmission.


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Publisher's Statement

This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final edited version of this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.11.036