CMS announces 516 participating organizations in program to reduce risk of MIs and strokes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced July 21 that 516 organizations in 47 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will participate in a randomized trial and program to reduce the risk of MIs and stroke in Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.

Nearly 200,000 healthcare professionals and more than 3.3 million beneficiaries will be involved in the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model. Through the program, organizations will use predictive modeling to develop personalized risk scores and plans to reduce the risk of MIs and strokes.

The program will run from September 2016 through August 2021. CMS will randomly assign the 516 organizations to an intervention group or a control group.

Organizations in the intervention group will receive incentives for using the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association ASCVD ten-year pooled cohort risk calculator and developing risk modification plans. The control group will not be required to implement the ASCVD risk calculator, but they will be asked to submit clinical data to compare with the intervention group.

The risk calculator assesses risk using the following variables: age, race, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, systolic blood pressure, use of statin therapy, antihypertensive medication, use of aspirin therapy, smoking status and diabetes status.

The program is part of Million Hearts initiative, which CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are leading with the goal of preventing one million MIs and strokes by next year.

Click here for a list of the 516 participating organizations. The Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model will include practices in general medicine, cardiology, internal medicine as well as private practices, community health centers, hospital and physician organizations and more.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” Patrick Conway, MD, CMS’s acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, said in a news release. “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.”