(703) 838-0033 ext. 352
Tammy Arnold, Aetna
25 July 2013
Aetna Joins National Effort to Fight the Silent Killer: High Blood Pressure
$50,000 Grant to Help Monitor Success of AMGA’s Measure Up/Pressure Down Campaign
ALEXANDRIA, VA and HARTFORD, CT, July 25, 2013 - The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced today that Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) awarded $50,000 to help track the progress of Measure Up/Pressure Down, a national campaign to help the more than 30 million people who have uncontrolled high blood pressure. Known as the "Silent Killer" because the condition often has no symptoms, untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other serious health issues. The campaign is led by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), AMGA's nonprofit education and research arm.
The Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign brings together national sponsors and partners who work together to change the way high blood pressure is diagnosed and treated. The campaign's mission is to ensure by 2016 that 80 percent of high blood pressure patients nationwide have their high blood pressure under control. The campaign's success will prevent numerous health-related conditions, thousands of unnecessary deaths and associated costs.
To achieve this outcome, Measure Up/Pressure Down is mobilizing medical groups and health care systems to adopt clinically proven processes that lead to measurable improvements, such as scheduling an appointment within 30 days if a patient's blood pressure is too high at the visit and having prevention and self-management programs in place to share with patients. Nearly 150 AMGA medical groups and health systems delivering care to more than 42 million patients have joined Measure Up/Pressure Down so far. Aetna's grant will help measure the program's success through quantitative analysis.
"AMGF greatly appreciates Aetna's support so we can measure the progress of our member groups in achieving the goal for high blood pressure control," says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA and secretary of the AMGF Board. "AMGF intends to use lessons learned from the campaign to inform future initiatives to reduce the burden of high blood pressure and chronic diseases, and to do so, it is critical to evaluate what clinical interventions have been effective."
High blood pressure is one of our nation's most significant health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day and accounts for an estimated $156 billion in health care services, medications and lost productivity. Studies have indicated that one of the most effective ways to control high blood pressure is for a patient to work with a coordinated health care team.
"Helping people improve or maintain their health is one of our top priorities. Because many people aren't aware that they have high blood pressure until problems occur, we believe this campaign has the potential to significantly improve people's lives long term," says Lonny Reisman, M.D., Aetna's chief medical officer. "Accurately measuring the approaches and interventions that are most effective for multiple patient populations and clinical settings will help advance heath care for people who have or who may be at risk for high blood pressure and the associated complications."
Aetna joins other sponsors that are committed to helping resolve this public health challenge including Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., as well as partners and supporting organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative, the Association of Black Cardiologists, American Society of Hypertension, American Kidney Fund, and the Institute for Health and Productivity Management. For more information about the campaign, visit www.MeasureUpPressureDown.com
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About the Measure Up/Pressure Down Campaign
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit arm of the American Medical Group Association, launched Measure Up/Pressure Down-a three-year national campaign November 29, 2012 to improve care and reduce the burden of high blood pressure. Measure Up/Pressure Down includes close to 150 medical groups, health systems and national partners such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the three-year campaign is to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016. To further the campaign's reach, the changes in clinical practice are being supplemented with patient education tools, strategic partnerships, special events, and a national media and public awareness strategy. www.measureuppressuredown.com
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the American Medical Group Association and it supports and disseminates research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based. AMGF also develops and supports educational programs to enable all stakeholders-providers, payers, policymakers and patients to translate the evidence of what works best into everyday practice. www.amga.org/foundation
The American Medical Group Association represents some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 130,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org