From the HHS News Release:

Medicare is adding coverage for a number of preventive services to reduce cardiovascular disease. This new coverage policy will add to the existing portfolio of free preventive services that are now available for people with Medicare, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. It contributes to the Million Hearts initiative led jointly by CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with other HHS agencies, communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, and private sector partners across the country to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years.

Under this coverage decision, CMS will cover one face-to-face visit each year to allow patients and their care providers to determine the best way to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The visit must be furnished by primary care practitioners, such as a beneficiary’s family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or nurse practitioner, in settings such as physicians’ offices. During these visits, providers may screen for hypertension and promote healthy diet as part of an overall initiative to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

 

Cardiovascular disease characterizes conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Today’s new coverage policy does not change current Medicare coverage for beneficiaries diagnosed with cardiovascular disease to receive assessment and intervention services.

 

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its Million Hearts national initiative, aimed at preventing a million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017. Through Million Hearts, CMS, the CDC and other HHS agencies are working together with public and private sector organizations to make a long-lasting impact against cardiovascular disease.

For more information about Million Hearts, please visit millionhearts.hhs.gov. To read the new policy, visit the CMS website at: http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=248

View the entire press release here.

 

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