Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. In 2017, CMS launched the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk-Reduction Model to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes among high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. The model pays providers for assessing each of their Medicare patient’s risk of having a heart attack and stroke over 10 years, and then makes additional payments to organizations that successfully reduce risk for their high-risk patients (those with a 30 percent or higher risk of a heart attack or stroke over 10 years). CMS is testing the model in a rigorous randomized trial that includes 516 primary care practices, cardiology practices, health centers, and hospitals throughout the country. Our project uses mixed methods to assess whether and how the model improves preventive cardiovascular care and reduces heart attacks and strokes.
If this model proves successful, CMS can make it part of how Medicare pays for preventive cardiovascular care throughout the country. Our role is to help CMS determine if the model is successful, which means assessing (1) whether and how the model reduces heart attacks and strokes and (2) whether the model reduces Medicare spending on hospitalizations and post-acute care for cardiovascular events enough to fully offset model payments.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services