Association between visit frequency, continuity of care, and pharmacy fill adherence in heart failure patients

Carine E. Hamo, Amrita Mukhopadhyay, Xiyue Li, Yaguang Zheng, Ian M. Kronish, Rumi Chunara, John Dodson, Samrachana Adhikari, Saul Blecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite advances in medical therapy for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), major gaps in medication adherence to guideline-directed medical therapies (GDMT) remain. Greater continuity of care may impact medication adherence and reduced hospitalizations. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults with a diagnosis of HF and EF ≤40% with ≥2 outpatient encounters between January 1, 2017 and January 10, 2021, prescribed ≥1 of the following GDMT: 1) Beta Blocker, 2) Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor/Angiotensin Receptor Blocker/Angiotensin Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitor, 3) Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonist, 4) Sodium Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitor. Continuity of care was calculated using the Bice-Boxerman Continuity of Care Index (COC) and the Usual Provider of Care (UPC) index, categorized by quantile. The primary outcome was adherence to GDMT, defined as average proportion of days covered ≥80% over 1 year. Secondary outcomes included all-cause and HF hospitalization at 1-year. We performed multivariable logistic regression analyses adjusted for demographics, insurance status, comorbidity index, number of visits and neighborhood SES index. Results: Overall, 3,971 individuals were included (mean age 72 years (SD 14), 71% male, 66% White race). In adjusted analyses, compared to individuals in the highest COC quartile, individuals in the third COC quartile had higher odds of GDMT adherence (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.03-1.53, P = .024). UPC tertile was not associated with adherence (all P > .05). Compared to the highest quantiles, the lowest UPC and COC quantiles had higher odds of all-cause (UPC: OR 1.53, 95%CI 1.23-1.91; COC: OR 2.54, 95%CI 1.94-3.34) and HF (UPC: OR 1.81, 95%CI 1.23-2.67; COC: OR 1.77, 95%CI 1.09-2.95) hospitalizations. Conclusions: Continuity of care was not associated with GDMT adherence among patients with HFrEF but lower continuity of care was associated with increased all-cause and HF-hospitalizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
StatePublished - Jul 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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