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Important Takeaways for Health Pros from the AHA’s New Quality Measures for HBP

Treating adults with high blood pressure requires a multifaceted approach, including diligent management, lifestyle modification, at-home readings, regular check-ups, and strict medication adherence. The complexity and widespread nature of this condition prompted the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) to create new performance measures for high blood pressure earlier this month.

The New Clinical Performance and Quality (CPQ) Measures for Adults with High Blood Pressure, published in Circulation, an AHA journal, address the care that 100 million U.S. adults with high blood pressure — 46 percent of the population — receive.

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“These measures focus on a patient-centered approach,” Donald E. Casey Jr., MD, MPH, MBA, FAHA, chair of the CPQ Measures Writing Committee, tells Florence Health. They prioritize controlling HBP below the new ACC/AHA target of 130/80 mm Hg. Diagnosis, accurate measurement and assessment, implementing an effective care system and improving accountability and quality of care also feature prominently.

The 22 new CPQ Measures are structured around performance (6), process quality measures (6), and a new category featuring 10 structural quality measures. They exist to support the diagnosis and treatment in alignment with the 2017 ACC AHA High Blood Pressure Guidelines, Dr. Casey emphasizes.

The CPQ team also designed the measures as a tool to evaluate the capability and capacity of various levels of the U.S. health care system to implement the guidelines. In particular, they empower practitioners and institutions to measure their quality of high-blood-pressure care and identify opportunities for improvement.

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Providers looking to act on these news measures should know the importance of team-based care, Dr. Casey says. “This includes … shared decision-making and consideration of social determinants of health,” he adds. In addition, the measures provide nurses and APPs with a more structured framework for assessing patients’ lifestyle modification, medication adherence, and home blood pressure monitoring.

The measures’ authors also hope that their work will enable more research that will improve HBP treatment and help achieve even more, optimal outcomes for these patients. They’re especially concerned with the areas of: diagnosis and control, accuracy of office measurements, technology (such as at-home monitoring and EHRs), lifestyle changes and demographic disparities.

Read the complete report at Circulation.


2019 AHA/ACC Clinical Performance and Quality Measures for Adults With High Blood Pressure: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Performance Measures, Circulation.

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