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In this Aug. 25, 2011 photo, registered nurse Mary Schlitter, left, speaks to heart patient Maria Marure, with the help of medical interpreter Marina Moreno at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. A study has shown that hospital stays for heart failure fell a remarkable 30 percent in Medicare patients over a decade. Next year, the nation’s new health law begins punishing hospitals with high readmission rates for heart failure by shrinking Medicare payments.

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Heart failure hospital stays decline, saving billions

Hospital stays for heart failure fell a remarkable 30 percent in Medicare patients over a decade, the first such decline in the United States and forceful evidence that the nation is making headway in reducing the billion-dollar burden of a common condition.

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