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Million Hearts Program

CMS recently awarded 516 provided in 47 US states and Puerto Rico to help cut down the risks for strokes and heart attacks for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Health care practitioners, who partake in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model by CMS, will work to reduce heart disease risks by reviewing each patient’s chance for stroke or heart attacks and taking adequate prevention measures.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care. 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 strokes and heart attacks,” said CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Conway.

Heart disease is one of the prime reasons of deaths and disabilities in the US. Stroke and heart attacks are the reasons for 1 in 3 deaths, resulting in a shocking $300 billion expense in health care every year. At present, health care providers are remunerated to monitor for cholesterol, blood pressure, and other risk factors leading to cardiovascular issues separately. Under the new plan, practitioners taking part in the Million Hearts® program would use a data-driven and approved predictive modeling approach for generating personalized risk scores. Practitioners can then easily devise specific health care plans to reduce the risk of having strokes or heart attacks.

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Prevent Heart Attacks

CMS representatives said that around 3.3 million beneficiaries of Medicare fee-for-service model and 20,000 practitioners would take part in the 5-year program. Practitioners and patients would work together under the program to figure out the best approach for lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Measures such as helping the patient to quit smoking, administration of cholesterol-controlling drugs, monitoring blood pressure, as well as creating awareness about the benefits of the approach would be some of the core aspects of the project.

Each patient will be given a specialized risk modification plan, which will target his or her cardiovascular disease risk factor. Practitioners in the intervention group will be rewarded for lowering the risk of strokes and attacks amongst their high-risk patients.

The CMS Innovation Center allows for testing of service delivery and innovative payment models such as the Million Hearts® program, to shift the traditional health care system towards one that spends money more wisely, delivers better care, and focuses on making communities and individuals healthier.

The Million Heart® program is an extensive national-level initiative CMS and CDC, with an aim of preventing 1 million strokes and heart attacks by 2017. The program aims to bring together communities, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, health systems vendors, as well as private-sector associates from all around the nation to fight against heart related diseases.

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