The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has named Kaiser Permanente Georgia as a 2015 Million HeartsÂ® Hypertension Control Champion for the health care organizationâ€™s success in helping patients control high blood pressure.
â€œThanks to our electronic medical record, evidence-based medicine and most importantly, the efforts of our clinicians and staff, we are able to help our members live longer, healthier lives by reducing their risk for heart attacks and strokes,â€ said Mary L. Wilson, MD, MPH, executive medical director of Kaiser Permanente Georgia. Dr. Wilson leads the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, which cares exclusively for Kaiser Permanente members in Georgia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the major operating divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, launched the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge to recognize health care professionals/practices that achieve blood pressure control rates at or above 70 percent in their adult patients with hypertension. Kaiser Permanente Georgia was one of 18 champions recognized nationwide.
Kaiser Permanente Georgia achieved hypertension control rates of 82.08 percent and 88.40 percent for its Commercial HMO and Medicare members, respectively, in 2015 (performance year 2014). These rates are well above the 90th percentile of 75.13 percent for Commercial HMO and 82.73 percent for Medicare, according to the National Committee for Quality Assuranceâ€™s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, known as HEDISÂ®.
According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Fewer than half of those have it under control, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke â€” two of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
â€œClinicians are our first line of defense against the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by high blood pressure each year,â€ said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. â€œWe applaud the 2015 Champions and hope other health care teams learn from these successes and save even more lives.â€
In its fourth year, Million HeartsÂ® is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Previous Million HeartsÂ® champions include Kaiser Permanente Southern California (2014), Kaiser Permanente Northern California (2013) and Kaiser Permanente Colorado (2012).
To learn more about the Million HeartsÂ® Campaign and see the complete list of recipients, please visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.
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