Congestive Heart Failure Admissions:
Factors Related to Hospital Length of Stay
Evelio Velis, M.D., M.S./H.A.S. Alan S. Whiteman, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.P.E.
Gloria S. Caballero, M.S./H.A.S. Berta Cabrera, M.S./H.A.S.
Sylvia Ortiz, R.H.I.T., C.P.M.S.M., M.S./H.A.S., and Jeffery Ritter, D.B.A.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is an illness that affects millions
of Americans each year; the cost associated with treatment and
care is extensive. This study was based on a total of 480 patients
admitted to the Mercy Hospital in Miami, Florida, during
2005. Average length of stay was significantly different based
upon type of health insurance, race/ethnicity, marital status,
admission source, attending physician specialty, discharge disposition, number
of consultations while admitted, surgical procedure, and illness severity.
The study results provide hospital executives with vital information for the
clinical and administrative CHF-related admissions management.
Key words: Congestive heart failure; CHF; DRG 127; CHF prevention; CHF
length of stay; CHF and ethnicity; CHF and discharge disposition.
In the United States, more than 3 million people
have congestive heart failure (CHF), and more than
400,000 new patients present yearly with this diagnosis.
CHF is the leading diagnosis-related group (DRG)
among hospitalized patients older than 65 years.1 The
American Heart Association (AHA) defines CHF as an
imbalance in pump function in which the heart fails to
maintain the circulation of blood adequately.2 Because of
its central role in meeting the needs of the body, and because
the pulmonary circulation is lodged between the
two ventricles, heart failure not only evokes direct signals
that the heart is in trouble, but also that other organs are
not receiving their fair share of blood.