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2023 | HFSA

Survey Reveals Lack of Heart Failure Services in Rural Communities and Inconsistent Heart Failure Research Participation

HFSA News Press Release

A survey conducted by the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) revealed that there is a lack of heart failure (HF) services in rural communities in the U.S. 


Rockville, Maryland (September 2023) - A survey conducted by the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) revealed that there is a lack of heart failure (HF) services in rural communities in the U.S. Additionally, the study indicated that participation in clinical research is inconsistent across U.S.-based HF clinics. The HFSA National Heart Failure Clinic Survey Summary: An Outlook of Heart Failure Clinics Across America with Insights into Demographics, Systems, Procedures, and Patient Care aimed to ascertain the number of HF clinics in the U.S. and gather essential criteria about these clinics. The survey collected data from approximately 500 organizations and 1,000 unique clinic locations.

The majority of the respondents' HF programs were in urban areas, with only 5.6% in rural locations. While initially attributed to a limited surveyor sample size, further analysis and comparison with Google data confirm the significant lack of, and subsequent demand for, specialized programs and clinics in underserved regions.

The data also identifies lack of uniform participation in research, which may be linked to the limited funding for many of these programs (a higher percentage of community and tertiary clinics indicated having no funding at all for research). This financial constraint could potentially hinder the advancement of knowledge and innovation in the field of HF care and may necessitate targeted efforts to support research initiatives in all types of HF clinics, particularly those in rural settings, to ensure comprehensive advancements in the management and treatment of HF.

“The outcomes from this survey are concerning yet not surprising. We are aware that inequities exist in the field of heart failure, and this data aligns with other research indicating that more services are needed to support our rural communities,” said Rick Soucier, MD, Section of Cardiology, Trinity Health, Chair of the Clinic Database Committee at HFSA. “A comprehensive heart failure clinic database will allow for the greater implementation of life saving care to a wider population of patients with heart failure by enhancing access and will provide us with a mechanism to share best practices, enhance access to recent innovations, and close any gaps that may exist for patients in communities that are currently underserved.”

This survey is a component of HFSA’s initiative to standardize heart failure practice, enhance patient care access, and promote interventions for better patient outcomes and overall well-being. The goal is to extend this data collection to encompass the additional 2,800 heart failure clinics listed throughout the country. Through this expansion, HFSA aims to gain comprehensive and valuable insights that will aid in enhancing heart failure care and services nationwide.


About the Heart Failure Society of America

The Heart Failure Society of America, Inc. (HFSA) represents the first organized effort by heart failure experts from the Americas to provide a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure, and congestive heart failure (CHF) research and patient care. The mission of HFSA is to provide a platform to improve and expand heart failure care through collaboration, education, innovation, research, and advocacy. HFSA members include physicians, scientists, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, trainees, other healthcare workers and patients. For more information, visit hfsa.org.

Media Contact: Laura Poko, 301-798-4493, ext. 226, lpoko@hfsa.org