Kaiser Permanente Joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the Million Hearts Initiative

Kaiser Permanente joins a coordinated approach to preventing one million deaths from cardiovascular disease and strokes over the next five years.

Press Release

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente announced today its support for the Million Hearts initiative, which aims to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Kaiser Permanente is among health care organizations, federal agencies, health practitioners, private insurers, industry and large employers, health advocacy groups, and community organizations to support the initiative announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Administrator Don Berwick and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Director Thomas Frieden

Million Hearts

The Million Hearts initiative focuses on reducing the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease and strokes by one million lives over the next five years. The initiative focuses on five pillars of action to achieve the goal of reduced deaths from cardiovascular diseases. These pillars include:

  1. Prioritize focus and attention around the ABCS (Aspirin for people at high risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, Smoking cessation)
  2. Encourage the meaningful use of health information technology to drive improvement
  3. Deliver care innovations
  4. Foster community innovations
  5. Measure successes and shortfalls in clinical and community prevention.

“Kaiser Permanente’s participation in the Million Lives initiative is aligned with effort we already have underway to improve the cardiovascular health of our members at risk of heart disease and strokes,” said  Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president, Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. “Through Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, our electronic medical record system, and panel-based management tools, we can identify members at risk and then aggressively treat them through clinical interventions, medication therapies, and by offering lifestyle counseling and behavior change approaches designed to increase physical activity and encourage healthy eating.”

Kaiser Permanente’s successes in cardiovascular disease have made it a model for health care delivery. Kaiser Permanente has already launched the ALL/PHASE program, which is based on research that a simple bundle of low-cost medications — Aspirin, Lisinopril and Lipid-lowering therapy — in combination with a beta blocker and lifestyle changes, reduces heart attacks and strokes by 60 percent for at-risk populations, like diabetics. The ALL/PHASE initiative is used in all of Kaiser Permanente’s regions and in the Safety Net Program. Through the Million Hearts initiative, Kaiser Permanente’s efforts can be shared not only with its members, but also with communities across the United States. Kaiser Permanente’s work in cardiovascular care serves to differentiate the health care organization for the superior quality and service provided through an integrated care delivery system.

“The Million Hearts initiative is a wonderful example of how we can get more health value from our existing investments, and it also underscores what can be achieved when the public and private sector work together toward a broad national goal,” said Peter Briss, MD, MPH, medical director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We appreciate the leadership from organizations like Kaiser Permanente as we take on these critical health challenges.”

Kaiser Permanente also recently launched Every Body Walk!, a campaign that aims to educate adults about the health benefits of walking and encourage Americans to get moving – 30 minutes a day, five days a week.  Research shows that 70 percent of adult Americans have a sedentary lifestyle. Every Body Walk! targets adults who are inactive and/or have chronic conditions. Walking is known to help prevent the onset as well as manage the effects of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and depression. More information about the Every Body Walk! campaign can be found at www.everybodywalk.org