Background: Having nurse practitioners (NPs) as primary care providers for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) is 1 way to address the growing shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs). Methods and Results: We used inverse probability of treatment weighted with propensity score to examine the processes and outcomes of care for patients under 3 care models. Approximately 72.9%, 0.8%, and 26.3% of CHF patients received care under the PCP model, the NP model, and the shared care model, respectively. Patients under the NP or shared care models were more likely than those under the PCP model to be referred to cardiologists (odds ratio 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.32-1.37; odds ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.30-1.35) and to get guideline-recommended medications. NPs and PCPs had similar rates of emergency room (ER) visits and Medicare spending after adjusting for processes of care. Patients under the shared care model had a higher burden of comorbidity and experienced a higher rate of ER visits and hospitalizations than those under the PCP model. Conclusion: The delivery of CHF care mirrors the severity of comorbidity in these patients. The high rate of hospitalization and ER visits in the shared care model underscores the need to design and implement more effective chronic disease management and integrated care programs.
- Congestive heart failure
- Nurse practitioner
- Primary care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine