- The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) are congratulating 310 physician practices and health systems for their commitment to tackle of the nation’s most common chronic diseases: high blood pressure that can contribute to heart attacks, stroke, and long-term cardiac damage.
As part of the Target: BP Recognition Program, more than 1100 providers have pledged to implement population health management techniques that aim to help the 103 million Americans with high blood pressure get the condition under control.
One hundred and eighty six organizations have been recognized with the “gold” achievement award, which denotes that the providers have achieved blood pressure control for 70 percent of their hypertension patient populations.
The remaining providers have received accolades for their participation in the program and ongoing efforts to meet their population health targets.
“While high blood pressure is an easy condition to treat in that we have the tools to do so, there are many variables and barriers to success for many patients,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, MD. “The AHA and AMA developed and piloted the Target: BP program to help bring patients and health care providers together to successfully get blood pressure under control, and help patients keep it controlled.”
“We applaud the providers who are already working hard to control their patients’ blood pressure, and we will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to join this effort to prioritize blood pressure control and increase the national control of blood pressure. Together, we can save many more lives and improve health outcomes nationwide.”
The death rate attributable to high blood pressure increased by 13 percent between 2001 and 2011, the two organizations added. High blood pressure also takes a significant economic toll, and is responsible for around $46 billion in annual healthcare spending.
The Target: BP resources available to provider include education about how to measure blood pressure accurately, toolkits to encourage patient-provider partnerships, and protocols for addressing and treating patients whose blood pressure is outside of recommended ranges.
The recognition for success with the program follows on the heels of the new high blood pressure treatment guidelines that expanded the number of individuals who fall into the hypertension category.
“The new guidelines mean there’s an even greater need to emphasize blood pressure control in our practices, and to work more closely with patients to overcome any barriers they may experience in managing their condition,” said AHA President John Warner, MD.
“We’re excited to bring Target: BP to physicians as a tool to help reduce the devastating impact of high blood pressure in terms of heart disease and stroke, and we’re proud to recognize practices that are joining us to increase focus on blood pressure control.”