American Heart Month 2018

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American Heart Month 2018 may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean we stop talking about heart disease and how to fight it.  Chances are you know someone affected by heart disease and stroke. The facts are sobering; according to the American Heart Association 2300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every day, that’s an average of one death every 38 seconds.

A Bit of History…

American Heart Month 2018
American Heart Month 2018

February, was first proclaimed American Heart Month by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963, when about half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease. As a nation, we have made great strides in reducing heart disease related deaths.  Today, more people know the keys to reducing heart disease lie in simply making healthy lifestyle choices.  Researchers say even modest changes to diet and exercise can lower heart disease risk by as much as 80 percent. That’s huge.

Health Plans Rated Highest in Heart Disease Measures

Your health plan also plays a role in controlling heart disease. It’s important to know that your health plan is taking the right steps. Do you know how well your health plan is doing in controlling blood pressure or following up with statin therapy or beta-blocker treatment?  NCQA compares health plans and rates them according to their performance and care.

Of the more than 1,000 health plans rated in 2017, the commercial health plans below scored a 5 (the highest possible) in measures related to heart disease and had an overall health plan ratings score of 4.5 or above:

NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Ratings tells us how well health plans are doing in key areas of health care. That’s important information for people who want to see how their health plan stacks up. Check out the complete 2017-2018 health plan ratings and see how your plan is doing. And follow the American Heart Association guide for how to prevent heart disease.  There’s great information there.

It takes about two minutes to read this blog post. Sadly 3 people will have died from heart disease in that time. We have the power to do something about that. We can all start or continue to follow a healthier lifestyle. And we can measure; measure how often the right things are happening in health care, so we know where we stand and how much further we still have to go.

Cindy Peña
Cindy is Senior Communications Manager at NCQA. Her focus is building consumer awareness through media and public relations. A communications and public engagement strategist with a background steeped in TV news reporting, Cindy is also part of NCQA’s Creative Services unit developing messaging through visual storytelling.

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