Newswise — ALEXANDRIA, VA – Medical groups participating in Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a national hypertension campaign, improved detection or control of high blood pressure for 205,000 Americans living with the disease in the first 12 months of the campaign, the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) announced today. Initial campaign data also show an average control rate of 69 percent for participating organizations, which compares to a national average of 47 percent based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1

Since launching the campaign in late 2012, nearly 150 participating medical groups and health systems delivering care to more than 42 million patients are using evidence-based care processes and accompanying resources developed by Measure Up/Pressure Down® to improve hypertension (high blood pressure) prevention, detection, and control.

Reported campaign data are based on national quality measurement standards, including National Quality Forum (NQF) measure 0018 (the percentage of patients 18-85 years of age who had a diagnosis of hypertension and whose blood pressure was adequately controlled during the measurement year). The National Committee for Quality Assurance is the measurement steward for NQF 0018. Detailed information regarding measurement and data reporting specifications is available on the campaign website here.

“With Measure Up/Pressure Down®, we challenged our member medical groups and healthcare providers to raise the bar on high blood pressure treatment and control with a first-of-its-kind campaign,” says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and Secretary of the Board of AMGF. “Our initial data confirm that we are making a dramatic difference in the health and well-being of our patients with high blood pressure less than two years into our effort. We commend all participating groups, particularly those that have made significant strides in control and improvement, and look forward to progressing toward our campaign goal of 80 percent of patients in control of their blood pressure in the coming year.”

High blood pressure is one of the 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 healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity. An estimated 68 million Americans have the disease, often referred to as “the silent killer.” Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attacks, chronic heart failure, stroke, and other serious health issues.

As part of its efforts, Measure Up/Pressure Down® mobilizes medical groups and health systems across the nation to achieve the goal of having 80 percent of their patients with high blood pressure under control by 2016. The campaign encourages these organized systems of care to adopt one or more evidence-based care processes that lead to measurable improvements in high blood pressure outcomes, as well as provides the tools and resources necessary to implement such care processes.

"Springfield Clinic chose to participate in the Measure Up/Pressure Down® campaign to put our patients with hypertension at the center of care. We've used this opportunity to work towards our value-based clinical transformation goal to improve quality outcomes through evidence-based medicine," says Mary Stewart, R.N., Chief Clinical Officer at Springfield Clinic, the campaign participant with highest blood pressure control rate at 89.7 percent. "Utilizing the campaign planks, we developed a hypertension treatment and management guideline, trained all clinical staff on appropriate blood pressure measurement, targeted our outreach through gap reports and patient registries, and expedited follow-up appointments for patients prescribed a new hypertension medication."

Measure Up/Pressure Down® is the first initiative of the Chronic Care Challenge, a long-term effort by the AMGF—AMGA’s nonprofit education and research arm—to improve quality of care and patient outcomes for chronic conditions with the greatest impact.

A grant from Aetna supported Measure Up/Pressure Down® and Anceta, AMGA’s data warehouse collaborative, to monitor campaign progress and success. Other campaign partners and sponsors include: American Heart Association, American Kidney Fund, American Society of Hypertension, American Stroke Association, Association of Black Cardiologists, Baptist Medical Group, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Epic, HealthyWomen, Humedica, Institute for Health and Productivity Management, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Men’s Health Network, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts® initiative, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Ralphs, Right Care, Withings, and WomenHeart.

For more information about the campaign, visit

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About the Measure Up/Pressure Down® CampaignThe American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit arm of the American Medical Group Association, launched Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a three-year national campaign to improve care and reduce the burden of high blood pressure on November 29, 2012. Measure Up/Pressure Down® 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.

About AMGFThe 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.

About AncetaAnceta is AMGA's collaborative for improving population health through comparative clinical analytics, conducted in partnership with Humedica, an Optum company. The collaborative’s goal is better health outcomes at lower overall

About AMGAThe 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 150,000 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.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: awareness and treatment of uncontrolled hypertension among adults—United States, 2003–2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2012;61(35):703–9.