Predict the future: Are your hypertension patients at risk of complications?

Hypertension affects millions of Americans, increasing their risk for other health problems such as heart disease and stroke. The leading cause of visits to the doctor, hypertension costs $156 billion annually in health care services, medications and missed days of work.

Providers need to have a fuller picture of their hypertension patients’ health—including predicting their risk for future complications and more accurately targeting interventions.

Advanced analytics enable organizations to sort patients with hypertension by risk and lay the groundwork for devising effective care management programs.Jeremy Orr, MD, MPH

Applying advanced analytics to a broad database of longitudinal data, for instance, helped Cornerstone Health Care segment patients with Stage 1 and 2 hypertension who had not been seen by a provider for six months or longer. This allowed Cornerstone to create its registry of patients given priority for early intervention.

Nine months after instituting its hypertension management program, Cornerstone’s overall HTN control rate improved to 66.2 percent from 64.2 percent—a step forward to its goal of 80 percent.

Another provider group, the Billings Clinic in Montana, implemented a scalable approach to identify and track patients with hypertension. By applying analytics to its data, the clinic was easily able to find patients with hypertension based on clinical findings such as blood pressure readings. It was also able to stratify patients with hypertension into clinically relevant cohorts based on clinical findings, such as those consistent with kidney disease or diabetes. Billings was then able to further analyze these groups by clinical acuity, medication patterns or other process measures. Billings went on to monitor the impact of its hypertension interventions over time and track their patients’ control longitudinally.

Especially as organizations take on more clinical and financial risk, they need to find ways to improve the quality of the care they provide and reduce costs. Leveraging advanced analytics to create more comprehensive risk profiles for patients with hypertension, providers will better position themselves to make the transition from treating illness to managing health.

To learn more, download the playbook, “Maximize the value of hypertension population management programs with advanced analytics.”

–Jeremy Orr, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Optum Analytics

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