New national healthcare campaign aims at controlling high blood pressure

(News Medical) – A majority of patients can’t recall whether their physician mentioned their blood pressure numbers and among patients with high blood pressure, only 56 percent say they talked with their doctor about ways to reduce their high blood pressure, according to a new survey released today by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit education and research arm of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA). The survey results were released at the launch event where the U.S. Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, talked about the public health challenge of lowering the nation’s blood pressure. The new national healthcare campaign, called Measure Up, Pressure Down, is aimed at preventing, detecting and controlling high blood pressure.

More than 120 medical groups and health systems including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente have joined the campaign with the goal to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016. AMGF is joined in this effort by supporting organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Association of Black Cardiologists, and Institute for Health and Productivity Management.

Despite the fact that according to a CDC study, one in three (68 million) U.S. adults have high blood pressure and less than half have their condition under control, 77 percent of the respondents to AMGF’s new survey said they are “confident their lifestyle choices will help keep their BP in healthy level.”

These findings underscore the fact that high blood pressure is one of the nation’s most significant health issues. CDC says 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. One of the most effective ways to control high blood pressure is for the patient to work with a coordinated health care team to get their condition under control. The team-based approach involves physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health coaches and other members of a medical team working together to provide the best level of care to patients.

“By challenging medical groups and health providers to raise the bar on high blood pressure care and control, we can make a radical difference in the health and wellbeing of our population,” says Donald W. Fisher, PhD, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMGA and Secretary of the Board of AMGF. “AMGA member medical groups are well positioned to successfully lead this critically important national effort. Their team-based approach to care offers a proven model for delivering quality, cost-effective care that improves patient outcomes.”


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