Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign improves high blood pressure control in 205,000 patients

Medical groups participating in Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a national hypertension campaign, improved detection or control of high blood pressure for 205,000 Americans living with the disease in the first 12 months of the campaign, the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) announced today. Initial campaign data also show an average control rate of 69 percent for participating organizations, which compares to a national average of 47 percent based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since launching the campaign in late 2012, nearly 150 participating medical groups and health systems delivering care to more than 42 million patients are using evidence-based care processes and accompanying resources developed by Measure Up/Pressure Down® to improve hypertension (high blood pressure) prevention, detection, and control.

Reported campaign data are based on national quality measurement standards, including National Quality Forum (NQF) measure 0018 (the percentage of patients 18-85 years of age who had a diagnosis of hypertension and whose blood pressure was adequately controlled during the measurement year). The National Committee for Quality Assurance is the measurement steward for NQF 0018. 

"With Measure Up/Pressure Down®, we challenged our member medical groups and healthcare providers to raise the bar on high blood pressure treatment and control with a first-of-its-kind campaign," says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and Secretary of the Board of AMGF. "Our initial data confirm that we are making a dramatic difference in the health and well-being of our patients with high blood pressure less than two years into our effort. We commend all participating groups, particularly those that have made significant strides in control and improvement, and look forward to progressing toward our campaign goal of 80 percent of patients in control of their blood pressure in the coming year."

High blood pressure is one of the nation's most significant health issues. According to the CDC, high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day and accounts for an estimated $156 billion in healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity. An estimated 68 million Americans have the disease, often referred to as "the silent killer." Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attacks, chronic heart failure, stroke, and other serious health issues.

As part of its efforts, Measure Up/Pressure Down® mobilizes medical groups and health systems across the nation to achieve the goal of having 80 percent of their patients with high blood pressure under control by 2016. The campaign encourages these organized systems of care to adopt one or more evidence-based care processes that lead to measurable improvements in high blood pressure outcomes, as well as provides the tools and resources necessary to implement such care processes.

"Springfield Clinic chose to participate in the Measure Up/Pressure Down® campaign to put our patients with hypertension at the center of care. We've used this opportunity to work towards our value-based clinical transformation goal to improve quality outcomes through evidence-based medicine," says Mary Stewart, R.N., Chief Clinical Officer at Springfield Clinic, the campaign participant with highest blood pressure control rate at 89.7 percent. "Utilizing the campaign planks, we developed a hypertension treatment and management guideline, trained all clinical staff on appropriate blood pressure measurement, targeted our outreach through gap reports and patient registries, and expedited follow-up appointments for patients prescribed a new hypertension medication."

Measure Up/Pressure Down® is the first initiative of the Chronic Care Challenge, a long-term effort by the AMGF—AMGA's nonprofit education and research arm—to improve quality of care and patient outcomes for chronic conditions with the greatest impact.



The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) 


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