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Medicare Is Simple
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Medicare announces participants for a new initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes
Medicare announces participants for a new initiative to prevent
heart attacks and strokes
Today, the Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 516 awardees in 47 states, Puerto Rico,
and the District of Columbia to help reduce the risks for heart attacks and
strokes among millions of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. The health
care practitioners participating in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease
Risk Reduction Model will work to decrease cardiovascular disease risk by
assessing an individual patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and applying
“Our health care system
historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” said Dr.
Patrick Conway, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical
Officer. “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.”
According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of
death and a major contributor to disability in the United States. One in three
deaths are caused by heart attacks and strokes, resulting in over $300 billion
of health care costs each year. Currently, health care practitioners are paid
to screen for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other risk factors individually.
In testing a new approach, practitioners participating in the Million Hearts®
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model’s intervention group will use a
data-driven, widely accepted predictive modeling approach to generate
personalized risk scores and develop specific plans in partnership with
patients to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Overall, nearly 20,000 health care
practitioners and over 3.3 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries will
participate in the five-year model. Health care practitioners in the
intervention group will work with beneficiaries individually to identify the
best approach or approaches to reducing their risk of having a heart attack or
stroke – for example, smoking cessation interventions, blood pressure
management, or cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin – and will explain the
benefits of each approach. Each beneficiary will receive a personalized risk
modification plan that will target their specific risk factors. Organizations
in the intervention group will be paid for reducing the absolute risk for heart
disease or stroke among their high-risk beneficiaries.
The Affordable Care Act, through
the creation of the CMS Innovation Center, allows for the testing of innovative
payment and service delivery models, such as the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular
Disease Risk Reduction Model, to move our health care system toward one that
spends dollars more wisely, delivers better care, and makes individuals and
communities healthier. Today’s announcement is part of the Administration’s
broader strategy to improve the health care system by paying practitioners for
what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and
integrate care to improve quality. In March 2016, the Administration announced
it reached its goal, nearly one year ahead of schedule, of
tying 30 percent of Medicare payments to alternative payment models that reward
the quality of care over the quantity of services provided to beneficiaries.
This model is part of Million
Hearts®, a broad national initiative co-led by CMS and CDC to prevent one
million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts® brings together
communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and
private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and
stroke. For more information on the Million Hearts® initiative, please visit: https://millionhearts.hhs.gov.