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Top-notch heart failure care close to home

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Posted at 9:19 AM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 11:19:08-05

Heart failure is a serious and growing health issue in the United States. Today it affects an estimated 6.2 million adults, a number that’s expected to rise to more than 8 million by 2030.

Heart Failure happens when the heart is too weak and or stiff to work properly. It is a chronic, progressive health condition that can be deadly when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body’s vital organs.

While there’s no cure for heart failure, there is some good news. We know more about this condition now than ever before, which highlights the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. This also means that treatments – including medications, lifestyle recommendations and medical procedures – continue to evolve.

A key component to treatment and wellness is being involved in a structured program. For patients in Wyoming and Montana, this is available to them at home.

Billings Clinic, the region’s largest independent health system, has a Heart Failure and Recovery program. This comprehensive program is led by Kristin Scott-Tillery, MD and Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Escudero, MD , two board certified advanced heart failure

cardiologists. Patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team including highly specialized Registered Nurses and receive education and assistance in managing their heart failure. The program has three simple goals:

• Improve the patient’s physical and emotional well-being
• Decrease the hospital admissions and financial cost for patients
• Help patients become active partners in their heart failure treatment

Studies show that those who participate in a structured heart failure program have fewer complications and hospitalizations, and that’s why having a skilled, comprehensive team available is so important. Working with the Billings Clinic Heart Failure team, patients can make their heart’s job easier while feeling better.

Being cared for by the only two advanced heart failure specialists in the region has other advantages as well. Patients with advanced heart failure can be cared for right here in the community and the region. The Billings Clinic Heart Failure and Recovery team can manage patients who require advanced heart failure care including mechanical pumps (LVADS) and transplanted hearts. After the pump is placed or they receive a new heart, they can return to their community and have follow up care where they live. The team has access to and uses tools for remote monitoring which allows patients to be monitored without leaving their home. They are the only program in Montana using the CardioMEMs pressure sensors.

Patients who have complex cardiomyopathies including Amyloidosis, Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy and Fabry’s, to name a few, can be diagnosed and receive quality treatment close to home. In addition, the team also diagnoses and cares for patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

If you think you are having a heart attack or are in an emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are experiencing any heart failure symptoms, please contact your Billings Clinic Heart Failure Specialist, cardiologist or primary care physician at (406) 247-6390, (406) 238-2500 or 1-800-332-7156. To learn more, visit www.billingsclinic.com/heart.

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