More than 800 practices recognized for BP-control efforts

Sara Berg
Senior Staff Writer
AMA Wire
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Over 100 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, and less than half have it under control. To recognize health care organizations that are doing their part to improve the national BP-control rate and prevent deadly heart attacks and strokes, the AMA and the American Heart Association (AHA) have honored more than 800 physician practices and health systems across the country through the Target: BP Recognition Program.

More than 8.7 million people with high blood pressure are cared for by health care organizations that are among this year’s 802 program participants. The Target: BP Recognition Program celebrates physician practices and health systems that are making the management of hypertension a priority through two levels of recognition—Gold Status and Participation Status.

Recognition awards for 2018 are based on self-reported data submitted by Target: BP™ registrants for the 2017 calendar year.

Physicians, practices and health systems that reached a control rate of 70 percent or higher in the patient population they serve received Gold Status recognition—the highest level of achievement in the program. Nearly half of those who participated in the program received Gold Status, achieving an average of 77 percent BP control among their patients with hypertension. Participation Status recognizes physician practices for their submitted data and commitment to cutting their share of adult patients with uncontrolled BP. 

“Although we have the tools to effectively treat high blood pressure, many patients face a variety of barriers making it difficult to successfully manage the condition. Target: BP is meant to facilitate ways around those barriers,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD. “We applaud the physicians who are already working hard to control their patients’ blood pressure.”

“And, because we know that improving control rates by just a few percentage points can lead to tens of thousands of additional hypertensive patients with controlled blood pressure, we will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to join this effort to prioritize blood pressure control,” she added.

The Recognition Program is an extension of Target: BP, a national initiative that is the result of an AMA-AHA partnership. More than 1,650 physician practices and health systems nationwide have joined the effort since 2015, sharing a common goal to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP and improve health outcomes associated with heart disease.

“By increasing the national blood pressure control rate, we will be able to save many more lives and improve health outcomes for patients throughout the nation,” said Dr. McAneny.

One organization that received Gold Status recognition is the Utica Park Clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of 340 clinics receiving the highest honor this year.

“The Target: BP program helped us to standardize our procedure for blood-pressure determination across the clinic as a whole, thus leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of care delivery,” said Thomas Mihelich, MD, chief quality officer at Utica Park Clinic.

Each year, participating medical groups will submit information about their adult patient populations. The submission data includes the number of patients by age group, ethnicity and gender. The information submitted also includes the total number of adult patients with hypertension and those with controlled hypertension. Data from 2018 will be submitted in the first half of 2019, with participants notified of recognition status in the fall. Registration is open to all medical practices.

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