Skilled Nursing Facility Heart Failure Certification

Skilled Nursing Facility Header

Driving to improve systematic heart failure care

As the American Heart Association (AHA) continues to grow in the hospital setting, the non-hospital care space remains in need of standardization to improve the quality of care patients receive. To further expand upon the efforts across the continuum of care, the AHA is expanding its presence in the non-hospital care space. This expansion is to further the work of improving cardiac care for all settings, this includes Skilled Nursing Facilities. 

This certification program was developed to enhance heart failure care services in the Skilled Nursing Facility setting through an extension of standardization and quality efforts.

Non-hospital care is health care services received aside from a hospital admission. Often, this is provided after the patient had a hospital stay. The aim is to improve patient functioning, ultimately transitioning from facility back to community. 

SNF Nurse and Patient

Patients Come First

Why is it important for patients to come first? Better communication because of tailored care to the patient which leads to improved quality of outcomes.



Male Nurse with Patient SNF

For Patients

  • Provide patients with access to centers focused on treating heart failure and its co- morbidities
  • Provide patients with confidence that the centers can provide the most effective heart failure treatment strategies
  • Provide patients with assurance that the center has been vetted and is recognized by the American Heart Association, based on professional evaluation criteria designed by heart failure experts

For Referring Hospitals

  • The care a patient receives impacts readmission rates (+ or -), Skilled Nursing Facility Heart Failure certification program can help reduce unnecessary readmissions and save substantial amount of money
  • Improves care coordination and communication between the Hospital and SNF(s), in turn enhancing the continuum of care for the patient for improved outcomes
  • Gives the hospital assurance that the patient will have strong continuity of care
  • Gives the patient piece of mind that the hospital has developed a program that provides excellent care throughout their treatment
  • The hospital can have confidence that the SNF(s) have been highly vetted by AHA experts

Doctor with Female Patient in Pink SNF
SNF Nurse with Man Using Walker

For Certified Facilities and Those In-Process

  • Promote and recognize the role and function of those facilities who are certified
  • Become a referral source for acute-care hospitals treating patients with heart failure
  • Establish a national collaborating network of American Heart Association Skilled Nursing Facility Heart Failure Center facilities for health care provider access
  • Establish a pathway for appropriate reimbursement for those health care professionals treating patients with heart failure and its co-morbidities
  • Provide direct access to AHA-sponsored live and online educational activities
  • Online American Heart Association Healthcare Network of Skilled Nursing Facility providers that can provide best practices and support
  • Consultative services from AHA staff throughout the entire certification process
    *Added benefits at no cost to facilities

How To Become Certified

Access the Eligibility Guide, or download our Fact Sheet - which helps you determine what your Skilled Nursing Facility needs to know!

Advanced Certification Heart Failure