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Outpatient Management of Guideline-Directed Medical Therapy for Heart Failure Using Telehealth: A Comparison of In-Office, Video, and Telephone Visits

      Abstract

      Background

      There are limited data regarding the management of guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) with virtual visits in comparison with in-office visits. We sought to compare the changes in GDMT (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, and sodium glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors) and loop diuretics across visit types.

      Methods and Results

      This study included 13,481 outpatient visits performed for 5439 unique patients with HFrEF between March 16, 2020, and March 15, 2021. The rates of initiation and discontinuation of GDMT were documented, and multivariable logistic regression was performed to test associations with outcomes between modes of visit. The rates of medication initiation were higher in office (11.7%) compared with video (9.6%) or telephone (7.2%) visits. In multivariable adjusted analysis, the initiation of at least 1 GDMT class was similar between in-office visits and video visits (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.82–1.14, P = .703). Telephone visits were associated with less frequent initiation of at least 1 class of GDMT in comparison with in-office visits (adjusted OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.55–0.75; P < .001) and video visits (adjusted OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.55–0.81, P < .001). Despite similar rates of baseline loop diuretic use, patients seen with both video visits (adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52–0.94, P = .018) and telephone visits (adjusted OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.49-0.83, P < .001) were less likely to have a loop diuretic initiated when compared with in-office visits.

      Conclusions

      The initiation of GDMT for HFrEF was similar between in-office and video visits and lower with telephone visits, whereas the initiation of a loop diuretic was less frequent in both types of virtual visits. These data suggest that video streaming capabilities should be encouraged for virtual visits.

      Key Words

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