Post-Acute Care Heart Failure Center Certification

Right now, 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure.

An additional 670,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, up from 500,000 a few years ago. With the aging of the population, the problem is poised to reach epidemic proportions in coming years, taking a tremendous toll in quality of life as well as longevity. Moreover, the cost of providing heart failure care ranks among the leading U.S. healthcare expenditures. The American Heart Association recognizes skilled nursing facilities that demonstrate high quality heart failure care through Post-Acute Heart Failure Center Certification.

How Certification Supports Quality Improvement

The certification process helps skilled nursing facility teams mobilize to implement quality improvement practices, standardized care, and ongoing professional education.

Post-Acute Heart Failure certifications builds on American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® hospital-based quality improvement programs that translate scientifically founded guidelines into measurable practice recommendation. GWTG programs provide a disease specific tool to collect data, shape care, and monitor improvement with the guidance of local field representatives. A foundational aspect of GWTG is providing the highest quality of care for all patients resulting in reductions in disparities among participating sites. Post-acute certifications expand this work across the continuum of care outside the hospital environment.

How Certification Raises Facility Profiles

Benefits of certification to skilled nursing facilities and hospitals may include cost savings, reduction in readmission back to hospital, increased patient volume to certified centers, and improved transitions of care between the hospital and skilled nursing facilities.

The AHA/ASA helps spread the word through:

  • Display of the iconic Heart-Check mark, a symbol patients know and trust
  • National recognition on the AHA/ASA online quality map

How We Support The Certification Process

We're with you every step of the way, providing:

  • Tools and resources
  • Educational opportunities
  • Individualized assistance from program representatives

Eligibility Requirements

  • The skilled nursing facility is in the United States or operated by the US government, or operated under a charter of the US Congress.
  • The skilled nursing facility heart failure program uses a standardized method of delivering clinical care based on current evidence-based guidelines.
  • The program uses heart failure performance measurement to improve its performance over time.

Answering Your Questions

For more information regarding Post-Acute Heart Failure Certification, please contact us at

Download the Eligibility Guide (PDF), and our Program Overview (PDF) to learn more.