The association between guideline-based treatment instructions at the point of discharge and lower 1-year mortality in Medicare patients after acute myocardial infarction: The American College of Cardiology’s Guidelines Applied in Practice (GAP) initiative in Michigan

Background The American College of Cardiology's Guidelines Applied in Practice (GAP) initiative for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been shown to increase the use of guideline-based therapies and improve outcomes in patients with AMI. It is unknown whether hospitals that are more successful in using the standard discharge contract—a key component of GAP that emphasizes guideline-based medications, lifestyle modification, and follow-up planning—experience a proportionally greater improvement in patient outcomes.Methods Medicare patients treated for AMI in all 33 participating GAP hospitals in Michigan were enrolled. We aggregated the hospitals into 3 tertiles based on the rates of discharge contract use: 0% to 8.4% (tertile 1), >8.4% to 38.0% (tertile 2), and >38.0% to 61.1% (tertile 3). We analyzed 1-year follow-up mortality both pre- and post-GAP and compared the mortality decline post-GAP with discharge contract use according to tertile.Results There were 1368 patients in the baseline (pre-GAP) cohort and 1489 patients in the post-GAP cohort. After GAP implementation, mortality at 1 year decreased by 1.2% (P = .71), 1.2% (P = .68), and 6.0% (P = .03) for tertiles 1, 2, and 3, respectively. After multivariate adjustment, discharge contract use was significantly associated with decreased 1-year mortality in tertile 2 (odds ratio 0.43, 95% CI 0.22-0.84) and tertile 3 (odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.27-0.75).Conclusions Increased hospital utilization of the standard discharge contract as part of the GAP program is associated with decreased 1-year mortality in Medicare patient populations with AMI. Hospital efforts to promote adherence to guideline-based care tools such as the discharge contract used in GAP may result in mortality reductions for their patient populations at 1 year.