The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announces the launch of the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge.
Million Hearts® is a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2022. Achieving this goal means 10 million more Americans must have their blood pressure under control. Million Hearts®is working to control high blood pressure through clinical approaches, such as using health information technology to its fullest potential and integrating team-based approaches to health care, and community approaches, such as strengthening tobacco control and promoting physical activity.
To support improved blood pressure control, HHS/CDC is announcing the 2017 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge.
This competition identifies practices, clinicians, and health systems that have worked with their patients to achieve hypertension control rates at or above 70% through innovations in health information technology and electronic health records, patient communication, and health care team approaches.
The nomination will be scored based on hypertension control rate and consistency of the control rate over the reporting year and the prior year, sustainable systems in the practice that support hypertension control, and consideration of patient population characteristics that might present significant challenges and barriers in controlling hypertension.
Nominees with the highest score will be required to participate in a two-phase process to verify their data. Nominees who are non-compliant or non-responsive with the data requests or timelines will be removed from further consideration.
Phase 1 includes verification of the hypertension prevalence and blood pressure control rate data submitted and a background check. For nominees whose Phase 1 data is verified as accurate, phase 2 consists of a medical chart review. In addition, background checks will be conducted by an independent source for individual or small practice nominees to ensure there are no serious sanctions or that other misconduct has occurred (as outlined in the Eligibility section). For large providers or health systems, their background check policy and implementation will be reviewed for compliance with the individual background check protocol. Some nominees may be eliminated base on these reviews. In addition, a health system background check will include a search for The Joint Commission’s sanctions and current investigations for serious institutional misconduct (e.g., investigations for professional medical misconduct).
Phase 2 of the validation, for nominees whose Phase 1 data is verified as accurate, consists of hypertension management validation via medical chart review.
Selecting the Champions
A CDC-sponsored panel of three to five experts consisting of HHS/CDC staff will review the nominations that pass phase 2 to select Champions. Final selection of Champions will take into account all the information from the nomination form, the background check, and data verification. In the event of tie scores at any point in the selection process, geographic location may be taken into account to ensure a broad distribution of champions across rural or more populated areas, representing potentially underserved populations.
The first Round Finalists will be selected based on a composite score generated from the information on the nomination form. These nominees will participate in a data validation process.
Nominations will be scored and judged separately by size and type of nominee in the categories listed below. CDC does not guarantee that a specific proportion of Champions will be selected from each category.
- Small individual providers or practices (500-49,999 covered lives)
- Large providers or practices (50,000 or more covered lives)
- Health Systems
The nomination will be scored based on two hypertension control rates: one for your most recent 12-month reporting period ending not earlier than December 31, 2016, and consistency with a previous rate for a 12-month period 1 year before the current rate (at least 90% of score); sustainable systems in the practice that support hypertension control (up to 5% of score); and patient population characteristics that might present significant challenges and barriers in controlling hypertension (up to 5% of score).
Judges will confirm that there are no conflicts of interest with any nominees being considered as a Champion.
Some Champions will participate in a post-challenge telephone interview. The interview will include questions about the strategies employed by the individual or organization to achieve high rates of hypertension control, including barriers and facilitators for those strategies. The interview will focus on systems and processes and should not require preparation time by the Champion. The estimated time for the interview is two hours, which includes time to review the interview protocol with the interviewer, respond to the interview questions, and review a summary data about the Champion’s practices. The summary will be written as a success story and will be posted on the Million Hearts® website.
Awards:- Up to 35 Champions will be recognized.