Healthcentric Advisors Wins National Grant to Tackle Hypertension with Innovative Blood Pressure Monitoring Technology


Healthcentric Advisors, the only health quality organization in the nation to win the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highly competitive Special Innovation Project contract, will work to reduce uncontrolled hypertension among Rhode Island residents. Read recent media coverage in CovergenceRI and Providence Business News.

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Brenda jenkins, senior program administrator, demonstrates proper blood pressure reading technique.

The project will decrease uncontrolled hypertension in medically underserved communities by simplifying and automating digital blood pressure self-monitoring, coordinating education and support services for patients and caregivers, and share this information with providers between office visits.

Lauren Capizzo, Director of Practice Transformation at Healthcentic Advisors: Using an Application Program Interface (API) like ours—allows for secure and automated data sharing between at-home blood pressure cuffs and Healthcentric Advisors’ data portal—meaning patients can capture their blood pressure between office visits, then share it back to their provider via a real-time alert for follow up on a high BP reading. Now, instead of waiting for the 3 month follow up visit, the care team will know right away if a patient should be seen sooner.”

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious condition that affects about a third of U.S. adults. Rhode Island has the highest rate in New England, making the disease a critical public health concern in the state. Properly treating and managing hypertension is vital to decreasing the incidence of stroke, heart attack, and other health problems, but despite its prevalence, about half of those with hypertension do not have their blood pressure under control, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Barriers like access to primary health care, transportation, affordable medications, and healthy food can prevent patients from being able to keep their blood pressure in check. Programs that incorporate patient engagement, social support, and self-management strategies, like the one being piloted by Healthcentric Advisors, are an effective way to overcome these barriers and improve the health of Americans where they live.

“Giving patients the ability to automatically record and transmit their blood pressure to health care providers allows for more timely adjustment of medication or lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Chris Campanile, Clinical Coordinator for Healthcentric Advisors.

“It unburdens the provider and patient by replacing what is often an unnecessary face-to-face encounter at the office with blood pressures recorded in a more realistic home setting, eliminating the phenomenon known as ‘white coat hypertension.’”

The six-month pilot includes recruitment of 150 patients with uncontrolled hypertension, through partnerships with Progreso Latino, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and the African Alliance of Rhode Island, and others. Patients and caregivers will receive Healthcentric Advisors-led education, technical assistance, and use of secure Bluetooth enabled blood pressure monitoring devices. The API enabled monitoring system, designed by Healthcentric Advisors, provides secure, reliable feedback to clinicians for real-time treatment plan updates and outcome measurement. Patient education resources developed through the project will be released nationally once the pilot concludes. Ultimately, these tools seek to empower patients to control their disease to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.




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