The hospital readmission rate and associated cost of treating patients with heart failure continuas to escaiate. Hospitals now regard home care as an alternative to institutional care for mthe long-term management of heart failure Heart failure management programs are becoming in creasing popular in home care as home health agencias strive to meet the demands of the Medicare managed-care environment. Practice standards such as those of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), form a basis by which home health agencies can develop, implement, and evaluate their program. Heart failure management continues to improve with advances made toward decreasing morbidity and mortality. The cardiac home care nurse assumes a pivotal role in the management of these complex patients

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