While significant progress has been made to improve blood pressure control rates in the United States since 2000, blood pressure control remains far from ideal. The Target: BP Recognition Program celebrates physician practices and health systems, who treat patients with hypertension, for their commitment to blood pressure control within the populations they serve. For those achieving high rates of blood pressure control in their patient populations, these physician practices and health systems are helping to reduce the number of Americans who suffer from heart attacks and strokes.

7-step SMBP quick guide

Our self-measured blood pressure quick guide offers an easy reference for physicians and care teams to help train patients to perform SMBP monitoring.

The Recognition Program is available to all physicians and health systems as part of Target: BP™, a national initiative co-led by the AMA and American Heart Association (AHA). Target: BP helps participating health organizations improve blood pressure control rates through the evidence-based AMA MAP BP™ program, and recognizes organizations committed to improving BP control.

All eligible organizations who submit 2020 data by May 29, 2021 will be recognized in the fall with a national press announcement and will be provided with media assets for community recognition and promotional items to highlight achievements.

In 2019, 47% of the physician practices and health systems who submitted data to the Recognition Program had blood pressure control rates of 70% or greater in their patient populations. The organizations recognized represented 44 states or U.S. territories and served nearly 9 million patients with hypertension. Additionally, 62% of those who submitted data in 2019 and 2020 saw improvements in their blood pressure control rates.

Here is what physician practices and health systems need to know about participation in the Recognition Program. Data and attestations submitted before May 29, 2021 will be considered for the 2021 Recognition awards.

If a physician practice or health system is a new participant, the first step is to sign up through the Target: BP program registration form. Request data platform access for your selected programs. New registrations will be reviewed by staff with accounts created within 24 to 72 hours. For organizations that are already registered, but need a new user account, contact the Target: BP team.

If an organization participated in 2020 or registered already, there is no need to re-register. The organization’s account is still active in the data platform. Physician practices and health systems can watch this quick overview video on how to submit data for Target: BP.

While all health information systems and EHR versions or applications are slightly different, even when using the same vendor product, it is important to work with your individual information technology or quality improvement team. Working with individual teams within an organization helps determine how to extract the information by providing data collection requirements and the blood pressure control rate documentation.

Some systems may already have options available to pull data and calculate the control rate. If an issue does arise, work with your vendor contact on a solution to gather the appropriate data.

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Read about how BP control success earns recognition for health care organizations.

When submitting blood pressure data, the process should be as easy as possible. The evaluation data that should be included is:

  • Total adult patient population.
  • Total adult patient population by age, sex and ethnicity.
  • Total number of adult patients with hypertension.
  • Total number of adult patients with controlled hypertension.

Data should also include the total number of physicians and other health professionals who are treating and managing patients with hypertension. Additionally, include the totals of adult patients’ primary payor groups such as Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, other public insurance, uninsured or self-pay, and other or unknown.

For an easy way to collect data for submission, follow along with this data collection worksheet.

When submitting data, it is also important to include the expected percentage of patients with hypertension based on the total adult patient population. Using the hypertension prevalence estimator can help physician practices or health systems identify whether they may be over or underdiagnosing patients with hypertension.

If the number of patients with hypertension is below the expected prevalence, this suggests there may be patients with undiagnosed hypertension. As more complete data on age ranges, sex, race and ethnicity is provided, the accuracy of the tool increases. But if the data lands outside the confidence interval, it does not impact an organization’s eligibility for recognition.

In addition to submitting annual data for blood pressure control rates, participants can be recognized for their team’s commitment to accuracy in blood pressure measurement. This includes 2020 efforts to ensure the accuracy of your blood pressure measurement equipment, regularly training and testing staff, and implementing reliable systems of care to ensure accurate BP measurement for every patient, every time.

Eligible activities include using devices validated for clinical accuracy from the US Blood Pressure Validated Device Listing (VDL™) or other reliable source, and refreshing skills of all staff who measure BP with the Achieving Accuracy: BP Measurement e-learning module.

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Organizations attesting to four of the six evidence-based blood pressure activities will be eligible to receive the Silver or Gold+ award in 2021. Watch this webinar for additional information on eligibility.

With 2020 came endless challenges, and, for many organizations, blood pressure control rates declined due to the impact of the pandemic. Despite these setbacks, every eligible organization’s commitment to blood pressure control should be recognized regardless of year-end numbers. And now more than ever, blood pressure control data is invaluable for determining the toll of the pandemic nationwide.

Organizations who submit 2020 data and attestations before May 29, 2021 will be considered for the 2021 Recognition awards.

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