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Heart Failure FAQs

A team of Heart Failure experts developed and launched the third and newest version of Heart Failure Accreditation. With a focus on decreasing mortality and improving quality of life HF v3 is reaching new heights in elevating the management of the Heart Failure population. Below are some frequently asked questions about this accreditation.

A: The ACC’s mission is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health by employing a vision where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcome. In the same fashion, the goal of ACC’s HF Accreditation is to support and guide health care sites and providers to treat and improve the care of the HF patent populations. While focusing on the needs of the patient and families, our HF accreditation tool guides hospitals in building hardwired protocols and pathways to efficiently care for and manage these patients by implementing up-to-date guidelines and best practices. By achieving HF Accreditation, a facility can decrease mortality, minimize the variability between providers, improve the utilization of resources to reduce costs, and ultimately optimize patient care delivery.  

A: CMS metrics already monitor the mortality and recidivism metrics. However, caring for the HF population goes beyond these measures and an organization must analyze their HF program and delivery of care as a whole and throughout the continuum of care. The tool provides insight into how processes of care affect things that actually matter to patients, payers and governmental agencies. A more extensive breakdown of process measures is analyzed such as the utilization of order sets, compliance with appropriate testing and screenings, the proportion of eligible patients who receive guideline directed medical therapies, and percentage eligible patients that received a post-discharge appointment. Additional detailed metrics within the HF v4 Accreditation tool are available and may be analyzed at the site’s discretion.

A: The American College of Cardiology (ACC) Heart Failure (HF) version 4 (v4) Accreditation is a comprehensive quality improvement solution for facilities that combine ACC clinical expertise, the latest guidelines, evidenced-based best practices, quality improvement data, and highly effective process improvement methodologies throughout the continuum of care.  HF v4 Accreditation fosters a multi-disciplinary team approach to care, drives change within the facility, improves quality and patient outcomes, and can be an essential factor in meeting the facility strategic plans.


HF v4 Accreditation requirements acknowledges that HF is a chronic disease and is not only managed in the acute care setting, but in the outpatient setting as well post-discharge.  Therefore, to recognize these efforts, facilities can now seek a new Outpatient Services designation.

To reduce data burden, the number of required data elements have been significantly reduced by approximately 50% within the Accreditation Conformance Database (ACD) of the HF v4 online tool.  The required data elements are all linked to Calculated Measures (CM) to quality and performance metrics for the purposes of Accreditation.  
By focusing only on the necessary data abstraction and collection, this powerful tool captures the data that measures adherence to HF clinical practice guideline recommendations and performance standards. Through this streamlined approach, facilities will have the ability to concentrate their efforts on Process Improvement (PI) efforts and the delivery of appropriate care.

Phillip Levy

"The phrase Return on Quality is like Return on Investment. It will provide more than just data to react to, but also data to be proactive with.  So, you won't just know what happened but you can drive what you WANT to happen!"

Dr. Philip D. Levy
ACC Accreditation Management Board Member
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Associate
Director of Clinical Research Dept. of Emergency Medicine Wayne State University

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