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CONTACT:

Shannon Walsh
(703) 838-0033 ext. 377
swalsh@amga.org

7 February 2014

Three Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) Participating Medical Groups Recognized as Million Hearts(R) 2013 Hypertension Control Champions
Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, Kaiser Permanente Northern California and ThedaCare Physicians Are Hypertension Control Leaders

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced today that three Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) participants received national recognition as Million Hearts(R) 2013 Hypertension Control Champions. Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (part of AMGA member Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic), Kaiser Permanente Northern California (CA) and ThedaCare Physicians (WI) are among the nine honorees.

The Million Hearts(R) Hypertension Control Challenge identifies practices, clinicians, and health systems that have worked with their patients to achieve hypertension (high blood pressure) control rates at or above 70 percent. The nine recipients were selected from a pool of more than 60 nominees, and reflect small and large, urban and rural, and private and federal health practices and systems.

"These practices have set up systems that work for patients and for providers. They use evidence-based guidelines and protocols, team-based care, electronic reminders to track patients’ progress, and recognize high-performing staff," says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, in a prepared statement. "By following their lead, we can help millions more Americans with high blood pressure get control. Controlling blood pressure saves lives and prevents disability from avoidable heart attacks and strokes."

High blood pressure is one of our nation's most significant health issues.  According to the 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. An estimated 68 million Americans have the disease, often referred to as the silent killer.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (part of AMGA member Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic), Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and ThedaCare Physicians participate in Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM), a three-year campaign to improve high blood pressure prevention, detection, and control. The campaign is spearheaded by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) nonprofit education and research arm. Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) is the first initiative of the Chronic Care Challenge, a long-term effort by AMGF to improve quality of care and patient outcomes for chronic conditions with the greatest impact.

As part of its efforts, Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) mobilizes medical groups and health systems to achieve the goal of having 80 percent of their patients with high blood pressure under control by 2016. The central mission of the campaign is to encourage medical groups and organized systems of care to adopt one or more evidence-based care processes that lead to measurable improvements in high blood pressure outcomes. Nearly 150 AMGA medical groups and health systems delivering care to more than 42 million patients have joined Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM).

"We congratulate all three of these medical groups and health systems - Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (part of AMGA member Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic), Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and ThedaCare Physicians - for their continued successes and recognition in hypertension control, " says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMGA. "To have three American Medical Group Association members and Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) campaign participants honored at the national level by Million Hearts(R) speaks volumes about the focus on quality improvement by our member groups."

Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) brings together national partners and sponsor organizations to work collectively to provide patients and communities information and tools that facilitate lifestyle changes, medication adherence, and other keys to successful blood pressure control. National partners and supporting organizations of the campaign include the American Heart Association, American Kidney Fund, American Society of Hypertension, American Stroke Association, Association of Black Cardiologists, Institute for Health and Productivity Management, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts(R) initiative, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Right Care, and WomenHeart. Campaign sponsors that are committed to helping resolve this public health challenge: Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Withings, Baptist Medical Group, Aetna, Humedica, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Epic, and Ralphs. For more information about the campaign, visit www.MeasureUpPressureDown.com.

About the Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) Campaign
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit arm of the American Medical Group Association, launched Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM)-a three-year national campaign to improve care and reduce the burden of high blood pressure on November 29, 2012. Measure Up/Pressure Down(TM) includes nearly 150 medical groups, health systems and national partners such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and Geisinger Health System. The goal of the three-year campaign is to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016. www.measureuppressuredown.com

About AMGF
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

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems.  AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care.  AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. 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

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (part of AMGA member Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic)