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New National Initiative to Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

Aug 1, 2016

BBH clinics throughout central Alabama set to participate in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Million Hearts Model, aimed at decreasing cardiovascular disease risk

BIRMINGHAM, AL– August 1, 2016 – A group of Brookwood Baptist Health Primary Care Network clinics have been selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as one of 516 awardees in 47 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes among millions of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Health care practitioners participating in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model will work to decrease cardiovascular disease risk by assessing an individual patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and applying prevention interventions.

“Alabama has the second highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country, so participating in this program was very important to Brookwood Baptist Health,” said Anne- Laura Cook, medical director of Population Health Management and Primary Care Innovation at Brookwood Baptist Health. “Our goal is to be on the forefront of providing quality patient care and trials like these really help us to find and investigate the best ways to improve our approach.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability in the United States. One in three deaths is caused by heart attacks and strokes, resulting in over $300 billion of health care costs each year. Currently, health care practitioners are paid to screen for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other risk factors individually. In testing a new approach, practitioners participating in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model’s intervention group will use a data-driven, widely accepted predictive modeling approach to generate personalized risk scores and develop specific plans in partnership with patients to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Accepted applicants were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group in accordance with the model’s randomized control design

Overall, nearly 20,000 health care practitioners and over 3.3 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries will participate in the five-year model. The group of Brookwood Baptist Health Primary Care Network clinics] is participating in the intervention group and will work with Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries to determine their ten-year individual risk for a heart attack or stroke. Those clinics participating in the trial will then work with beneficiaries individually to identify the best approach or approaches to reducing their risk of having a heart attack or stroke – for example, smoking cessation interventions, blood pressure management, or cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin – and will explain the benefits of each approach. Each beneficiary will receive a personalized risk modification plan that will target their specific risk factors. Clinics participating will be paid for reducing the absolute risk for heart disease or stroke among their high-risk beneficiaries.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer. “This initiative will enhance patient-centered care and give practitioners the resources to invest the time and staff to address and manage patients who are at high risk for heart attacks and strokes.”

The Affordable Care Act, through the creation of the CMS Innovation Center, allows for the testing of innovative payment and service delivery models, such as the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model, to move our the health care system toward one that spends dollars more wisely, delivers better care and makes individuals and communities healthier.

This model is part of Million Hearts®, a broad national initiative co-led by CMS and the CDC to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts® brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information on the Million Hearts® initiative, please visit: https://millionhearts.hhs.gov.  

For additional information about the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Model, including a fact sheet and a list of participants, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Million-Hearts-CVDRRM/

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About Brookwood Baptist Health
With roots extending more than 90 years, Brookwood Baptist Health includes trusted providers from the former Brookwood Medical Center and Baptist Health System and is operated by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.  Representing the largest healthcare network in Central Alabama, the network’s community of care is comprised of five acute care hospitals with more than 1,700 licensed beds: Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Walker Baptist Medical Center and Citizens Baptist Medical Center. Brookwood Baptist Health also provides patients with the largest primary care network in the state, along with physician practices, diagnostic and outpatient surgery centers and a freestanding emergency department. Brookwood Baptist Health is united in service and devotion to the people of Central Alabama and dedicated to putting people back at the center of healthcare.  For more information, please visit BrookwoodBaptistHealth.com. 

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