- The Department of Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have announced $112 million in grant funding to support population health management programs related to the reduction of hypertension, heart attacks, and stroke. The grants will aid seven regional cooperative organizations as they work with 5000 primary care providers on education and workflows aligned around best practices for heart health.
The program, called EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, is similar in mission to the CDC’s Million Hearts Challenge. Both initiatives encourage primary care providers to perform screenings for at-risk patients and help those with hypertension achieve better rates of control. Primary care providers will receive coaching on leveraging electronic health records to follow the “ABCS” of cardiovascular care: aspirin use by high risk individuals, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation.
“The goal of the EvidenceNOW initiative is to give primary care practices the support they need to help patients live healthier and longer,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “By targeting smaller practices, we have a unique opportunity to reduce cardiovascular risk factors for hundreds of thousands of patients, and learn what kind of support results in better patient outcomes.”
Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine received $15 million under the grant program to lead the Midwest Cooperative, which will work with 300 local clinics to improve their cardiovascular chronic disease management capabilities.
“This project will provide important insights into how doctors and other health care providers can best enact and sustain strategies for evidence-based quality improvement in cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Abel Kho, principal investigator for the project, assistant professor of medicine at Feinberg and director of Feinberg’s Center for Health Information Partnerships.