More than 1,100 health care organizations earn BP-control honor

With more than half of heart-disease and stroke deaths happening among people with high blood pressure (BP), there is a need for physician practices and health care organizations to prioritize BP control. To recognize organizations for their efforts, the AMA and American Heart Association (AHA) have honored nearly 1,200 physician practices and health systems across the country through the Target: BP Recognition Program.

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The recognized organizations care for 29.8 million adult patients, with more than 8 million of those patients diagnosed with hypertension across 46 states and U.S. territories. Target: BP™, a national initiative co-led by the AMA and AHA, 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.

Gold Status recognition is awarded to physicians, practices and health systems that reach a BP control rate of 70% or higher in the patient population they serve. Participation Status recognizes physician practices and organizations for their submitted data and commitment to lowering their number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP.

Of the physician practices and health care organizations that submitted data, 46% achieved BP-control rates of 70% or higher in their patient populations. More than 75% of the organizations recognized last year were also recognized for their efforts in 2019. And of those that submitted data both years, 57% improved their BP-control rates, with 69 sites moving from Participation Status to Gold Status.

“The American Medical Association and the American Heart Association share a common mission and commitment to reducing the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes each year, and we are proud of the physicians and health care organizations who have already stepped up to join us in this effort,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA. “We will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to prioritize the rising risk of high blood pressure and improve health outcomes for patients across the nation.” 

Recognition awards for 2019 are based on self-reported data submitted by Target: BP registrants for the 2018 calendar year.

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Trinity Health of New England Medical Group in Springfield, Massachusetts, is one of the 542 clinics receiving Gold Status recognition this year. This arm of Trinity Health had an average BP-control rate of 78% at the time of Recognition Program data submission and have continued to improve with a current control rate of 84%. They attribute this improvement to their implementation of the MAP BP Program.

CentraCare Health in St. Cloud, Minnesota, is another organization that received Gold Status recognition after improving their BP-control rate to 86.3%.

“Our team was very proud to be recognized for our efforts. It really helps demonstrate that our hard work and dedication is starting to pay off,” said Dane Nelson, a performance improvement consultant at CentraCare Health.

After the first year of the Target: BP initiative, the AMA and AHA acknowledged early adopters for their commitment to improving blood pressure control and building a healthier nation. More than 300 organizations were then recognized in 2017. The following year, 800 practices and health systems were honored.

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Each year, participating medical groups will submit information about their adult patient populations. The submission data includes the total number of adult patients with hypertension and those with controlled hypertension, and also includes number of patients by age group, gender, and race/ethnicity.

Data from 2019 will be submitted in the first half of 2020, with participants notified of recognition status in the fall. Registration is open to all medical practices.