Program for Preventing Heart Attacks, Strokes Announces Participants

Program for Preventing Heart Attacks, Strokes Announces Participants

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that 516 heath partners, including many family practices, have been selected to participate in the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model aimed at preventing heart attacks and strokes.

The program is part of the umbrella Million Hearts national campaign launched in 2015 by the CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  to prevent one million cardiac events from heart attack, strokes by 2017.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer for CMS, in a press release. “This initiative will enhance patient-centered care and give practitioners the resources to invest the time and in staff to address and manage patients who are at high risk for heart attacks and strokes.”

About 20,000 healthcare professionals and more than 3 million Medicare paying beneficiaries will take part in the five-year model.

Healthcare professionals will use the model to identify patients potentially at risk for cardiovascular disease and other heart related concerns, and then work with the patient to create a personalized plan that could reduce the risk. Measures could include quitting smoking, managing blood pressure, or using cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin.

According to the press release, health care practitioners are currently paid to screen for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other risk factors individually. Participating doctors, clinics and family practices will be awarded monetarily for measured risk reduction but only based on cardiac risk prevention results overall – not for individual patients.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability, according to the CDC. One in three deaths in the United States are caused by heart attacks and strokes, which accounts for about $300 billion of health care.

The 516 participating offices and practices are from 47 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

More information about the Million Hearts initiative can be found at:

More information about the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Model and a related fact sheet can be found at:

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