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The Heart of the Matter: End-Stage Heart Disease and Hospice

Title: The Heart of the Matter: End-Stage Heart Disease and Hospice with Brad Stuart, MD     

CE/CME Offered:

CE/CME Credit Available: Nurse

Member Price: $35.00
Non-Member Price: $70.00

Payment Options:
Length: 1.0 hour
Description: Heart failure is a major new frontier for hospice. It is now the leading cause of hospital admission in the western world, and the only cardiac-related diagnosis still rising in prevalence. This presentation will discuss pathogenesis, staging, assessment, prognosis and symptom management in heart failure. Also we will learn about advance care planning, determining hospice eligibility, and managing infusions and implanted defibrillators. The ultimate goal is to integrate knowledge about treatment advances and comfort care, and to provide them in a seamless continuum to patients with late-stage disease.


  • List two reasons for the current epidemic of heart failure.
  • State two classes of medications necessary for optimal treatment of heart failure.
  • Describe the characteristics of Stage D heart failure.
  • State the most sensitive and specific physical sign of fluid overload in heart failure.
  • State the only class of drugs that has been found to be effective in relieving dyspnea.
  • Describe the difference in approach between discontinuation of pacemakers and implanted defibrillators at the end of life.

Brad Stuart, MD

Brad Stuart, MD, is an internist and Senior Medical Director of Sutter VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) and Hospice, which provides home care and hospice services through much of Northern California. He is the Principal Investigator of research for Sutter’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program, which integrates home health care and hospice for seniors with late-stage chronic illnesses. AIM has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Metta Foundation, and Aetna. 

Dr. Stuart was the primary author of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Medical Guidelines for Prognosis in Selected Non-Cancer Diseases, which have been adopted as national Medicare hospice eligibility criteria. For this work he received the organization’s Heart of Hospice Award, as well as the California State Hospice Association’s Pierre Salmon Award. In addition, he wrote and hosted Care Beyond Cure: Hospice Helping Physicians Treat the Terminally Ill, a nationally televised Continuing Medical Education video that won an International Angel Award for Media Excellence.

He was featured in the HBO documentary Letting Go: A Hospice Journey, and has been interviewed on NBC’s Good Morning America on the topic of physician-assisted suicide. Dr. Stuart is a cancer survivor, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. He has published widely and lectured internationally on medical, psychological, and spiritual issues at the end of life. 

Disclosure: Planners: Barbara L. Bouton, MA, FT, and Jennifer Kennedy, MA, BSN, RN, have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Faculty: Brad Stuart, MD has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

CE/CME Credit Hours: Nurse:  1.0 Contact Hours
Social Work:  1.0 Contact Hours
Completion: In order to complete this online activity, participants must view the course in its entirety, correctly answer all case studies and quiz/test questions (as appropriate) and complete the evaluation. You will have access to the course for 90 days from the date of purchase.


Nurse: NHPCO is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

NHPCO designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 contact hours. Nurses should claim only the contact hours commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Accredited status by ANCC refers only to continuing nursing education and does not imply endorsement of any commercial product discussed in conjunction with this activity.

Release Date: April 3, 2014
Course Review Date: May 9, 2016

Expiration Date:  

May 9, 2019

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