Newswise — NEW ORLEANS, La. – Some 1.1 million Americans are hospitalized each year with congestive heart failure (CHF), and the average hospitalized patient faces a one-year mortality of 30 percent and a readmission rate of 50 percent at six months. With this deadly disease as its top readmission diagnosis, Ochsner Health created a Transitional Care Clinic in October to reduce readmissions and, ultimately, improve the quality of life and survival of these patients. Since then, the clinic has reduced CHF readmission rates by three percent, caring for more than 300 patients post hospital discharge.

“CHF is prevalent across the Gulf South, where risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, are high. To address the needs of our population, Ochsner created this clinic to focus exclusively on CHF patients and closely guide them to healthier outcomes,” said Dr. Sapna Desai, an advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation specialist who heads up the Transitional Care Clinic. “In just six months, we’ve seen a significant reduction in readmissions, showing this approach is working.”

Focusing on patients with a diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure due to reduced left ventricular systolic function (CHFrEF), Ochsner’s Transitional Care Clinic is ensuring the institution of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) and referring appropriate patients for placement of an automatic implantable defibrillators, for cardiac resynchronization therapy and to the Heart Failure Transplant Service. It is also educating patients and caregivers on CHF and its treatment, including GDMT, dietary restrictions and targeted activity levels.

“We’re giving our patients special attention, sitting down with them regularly to discuss, in detail, the causes of their heart failure, their individualized treatment plans, and the steps they can take to get healthier,” said Dr. Desai. “Treatment for acute diagnoses can be quite complex, and so, this level of care is helping patients stay on track and out of the hospital.”

Ochsner has the largest program for advanced heart failure treatment in the Gulf South, and its patients receive the latest treatment options and personalized care. Ochsner offers a complete array of innovative technologies, including surgical and percutaneous implantable mechanical support, implantable hemodynamic monitoring, biventricular pacing, ultrafiltration and novel drug therapies.

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About Ochsner Health Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 34,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 40 hospitals and more than 300 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit