HFSA to discuss 'Designing the Medical Home for Heart Failure Patients' at Scientific Meeting

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The 14th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) will feature a discussion titled "Designing the Medical Home for Heart Failure Patients." Contributors Dr. Mary Norine Walsh and Dr. Larry A. Allen will describe treatment and care strategies in the medical home model and how they impact both patients and caregivers.

Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, Medical Director of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana will discuss "Interactions with Other Specialists: Coordinating the Medical Home from the Heart Failure Clinic." The Medical Home is an approach to providing comprehensive care that facilitates partnerships between patients and their health care provider. On an individual level, the Medical Home traditionally rests on the relationship between a patient and his or her primary physician. In her talk, Dr. Walsh will discuss the benefits of shifting the locus of the Medical Home from the primary care physician to the cardiology specialist for heart failure patients.

"Especially for patients with advanced stage heart failure, coordinating the Medical Home from the heart failure clinic or cardiology specialist can add value to the care the patient receives," said Dr. Walsh. "This model of care delivery presents care continuity that is both comprehensive and approachable for heart failure patients. I expect we'll see more health care providers adopt this model in the future."

Dr. Larry A. Allen, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor at University of Colorado will address "End of Life: Transition to Palliative Care." Palliative care focuses on improving overall quality of life for patients with serious or terminal illness, frequently centers around pain and symptom management and can take place in traditional health care facilities or in specialized centers or hospices. In his presentation, Dr. Allen will discuss the unique nature of caring for heart failure patients, and the need for comprehensive, integrated care, including patient education, psychosocial care, and decision planning.

"Working with the patient to manage expectations, make long-term decisions, and realize medical needs allows us to achieve our ultimate goal of improving quality of life," said Dr. Allen.  "Heart failure is a highly symptomatic, case-by-case disease. Its variable nature makes the transition to palliative care difficult, but incredibly important."

For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on attending the conference, call (617) 226-7183 or visit www.hfsa.org and click on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility. You may follow news from the meeting on Twitter #HFSA

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