Welcome to the Heart Failure Clinic
Heart failure occurs when your heart muscle fails to pump blood properly. This results in a multitude of symptoms including shortness of breath, swelling in your legs and/or abdomen, congestion of the lungs, and increased fatigue.
At the Heart Failure Clinic we work to your improve your quality of life by helping you manage your symptoms of heart failure. We educate you about the condition and the ways it can be controlled. Our primary objective is to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the emergency room, prevent hospitalizations, and help you to live a full and productive life.
The Heart Failure Clinic helps with:
- Education and support
- Managing symptoms of heart failure
- Assistance with risk factor modification, such as decreasing cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, and improving diet
- Managing medications
- Financial constraints that affect filling your prescriptions
How the Clinic Works
To qualify for the Heart Failure Clinic we need a formal referral from your physician. This physician may be your primary care provider, cardiologist, or internist. While progressing through the clinic, your referring physician will receive periodic reports about your progress.
During your time at the clinic you will learn the signs and symptoms of heart failure and how to deal with them. The staff, which includes a dietician and exercise physiologists, will help you understand the role diet and exercise can play in improving your health. You will also receive a personal notebook that reflects the education discussed at the clinic.
At your initial visit you will be assigned a level of care. This level determines how many visits you are eligible for. These visits may vary based on your individual needs, and are not driven by insurance companies.
The clinic is covered by most insurance. If you’re in doubt, you may inquire with us or call your insurance company. If you are uninsured, there may be services to assist you.
Your initial visit will last for approximately 90 minutes and includes:
- Baseline data collection (history and physical)
- Weight recording
- Diagnostic testing (this test is noninvasive and determines how your heart is functioning)
- A 6-minute walk test to check for endurance and activity tolerance
- Possible cardiology referral (this is only necessary if the patient has not been evaluated by a cardiologist in the last year)
We encourage patients to have a loved one accompany him/her to this lengthy visit for support and to help in the education process. Loved ones are more than welcome to attend each visit if necessary.
After your initial visit, typical visits will last about 30 minutes and include:
- Weight recording
- Medication adjustments
- Basic assessments
Heart Failure Support Group
In addition to your normal clinic visits, we facilitate a monthly heart failure support group. Each session covers an educational topic and allows patients to address any problems, concerns, or issues they are facing. It is a great time to meet others, who like yourself are learning to manage heart failure and enhance their lives.
Meet the Heart Failure Clinic Team
The Heart Failure Clinic is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To best serve you, a team member is only a page or phone call away. Our friendly and knowledgeable team consists of:
- Medical director
- Nurse practitioner
- Exercise physiologist
Our clinicians you will see on a regular basis and will talk to you on the phone or check you out upon completion of your visits.
Our staff also includes a:
- Exercise physiologists
- Experienced office staff
What Patients Say About the Heart Failure Clinic
"The Heart Clinic means ‘alive’ to me. I was a wreck when I came under Deb Skinner's care. Today, I am alive thanks to my healer Deb and the Heart Clinic. I am remade into a reasonably functional guy again."
"The clinic has helped me a great deal in helping keep my weight down, regulating my medication and easing my peace of mind in dealing with my heart failure."
Contact the Heart Failure Clinic
The Heart Failure Clinic is located at the Mercy Heart Center at the corner of Sherman and Roberts, and can be reached by calling 231-672-6943.