Medicare Names Participants in Heart Attack, Stroke Prevention Effort

CMS' Innovation Center created Million Hearts to identify Medicare beneficiaries most at risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events.

CMS on Thursday unveiled more than 500 groups that will take part in a nationwide effort to prevent strokes and heart attacks among Medicare beneficiaries.

The 516 awardees in 47 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will launch the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction model, which is one piece of a broader effort with CDC to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes through 2017. Million Hearts uses predictive modeling to figure out which patients are at risk, and the practitioners who received awards yesterday will evaluate patients using the program’s tools and take prevention measures.

“Our health care system historically often emphasized acute care over preventive care,” said Patrick Conway, MD, who is 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 in staff to address and manage patients who are at high risk for heart attacks and strokes.”

According to CMS, more than 3.3 million fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries will be evaluated through Million Hearts. More than 20,000 healthcare professionals will be needed to carry out the mission.

The Million Hearts model is a project of the CMS Innovation Center, which allows testing of new healthcare delivery methods before they are rolled out nationwide. Another Innovation Center project, the Diabetes Prevention Program, was recently certified to be reimbursement for all Medicare recipients starting in January 2018. Proposed rules for that program are in the comment period.

For more information on the Million Hearts initiative, visit here.