Thousands to Participate in New CMS Initiative to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

Participating physicians will create personalized risk management plans for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced 516 awardees for the Million Heart Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model.

The CDC reported that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and approximately $300 billion is spent on heart disease and strokes each year. This initiative aims to reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes among Medicare beneficiaries.

Physicians will assist this effort by assessing a patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and implement prevention methods, according to a press release from the CMS. Physicians are currently checking risk factors individually.

In the new initiative, physicians will use a data-driven approach to create a personal risk score. Personal risk scores will help physicians create a personalized risk modification plan that includes targeted risk factors, such as smoking cessation interventions, blood pressure management, or cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin, according to the CMS.

There are 20,000 physicians and 3.3 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries that will be participating and the physicians will receive payment for reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” said Patrick Conway, MD, 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.”