American Heart Association Applauds Personalized Approach to Improving Heart and Stroke Health of Medicare Beneficiaries


AHA CEO Nancy Brown commented on Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell's announcement of the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction payment model initiative.


DALLAS, May 28, 2015 American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown commented onHealth and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell’s announcement of the Million Hearts®Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction payment model initiative. The research program will explore new ways to help Medicare patients prevent heart attacks and strokes through pay-for-performance incentives related to individualized risk reduction.

One in three Americans will die from heart disease or stroke, yet these deaths are largely preventable with simple lifestyle changes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is taking an innovative approach to saving lives and improving the healthcare system by exploring the impact providers can have on their patients’ health through individualized risk assessment and planning and integrating an emphasis on prevention into delivery of care.

Using a data-driven risk calculator from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, it takes just a few moments for a doctor to learn crucial information that can change a Medicare patient’s health destiny. They’ll learn their patients’ risk of dying from heart disease or stroke and, most importantly, be incentivized to reverse risk factors in their patients. This is an exciting development that can guide and motivate patients to work with their providers to make proactive changes to live longer, healthier lives.

We applaud CMS for this bold step in addressing the critical problem of heart disease and stroke in this country. We urge providers to learn more about this project and consider their opportunity to being a key in this potential game-changer in saving lives.

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