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Advocacy: Aligning health policy with hypertension science


Advocacy: Aligning health policy with hypertension science

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AHA and AMA are working together to align health policy with hypertension science to improve blood pressure control across the country. Our policy work focuses on federal, state, local, community and institution-level blood pressure control efforts that support:

  • Patient coverage and access for equitable and satisfactory guideline-driven hypertension care
  • Provider, care team and health care organization reimbursement and incentives that facilitate sustainable, evidence-based care
  • Communities and institutions promoting heart health and best practices in healthcare


Target: BP federal advocacy priorities include optimizing Medicare beneficiary coverage and provider/care-team reimbursement for evidence-based hypertension care.

Device Coverage for SMBP

The team is advocating for expanded coverage of validated self-monitored blood pressure (SMBP) devices to support the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of high blood pressure. In 2021, AHA and AMA submitted a National Coverage Determination (NCD) Request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) to cover validated SMBP devices for Medicare Beneficiaries.

Care Reimbursement for SMBP monitoring – Policy Win!

In 2019, we advocated to expand CPT® code options for providers and care teams that prepare patients to use SMBP devices, review SMBP readings and make treatment recommendations based upon those readings. Effective in 2020, these new codes expanded the available options for billing, creating incentives and sustainability for this evidence-based practice among Medicare beneficiaries when patients use a validated blood pressure device.

Healthy Living & Social Determinants of Health

We continue to advocate for federal policies that improve heart health, reduce cardiovascular risk and make healthy living and equitable health outcomes possible. Efforts include sodium reductionphysical activity assessments and prescriptionstobacco control and clean air standards.


Device Coverage & Care Reimbursement for SMBP

Our advocacy efforts at the state level focus on improving patient access to validated SMBP devices that are:

  • Accessible, from both a financial and usability perspective
  • Available and easily acquired
  • Adequate in terms of quality and functionality, accommodating patients of all sizes

In addition, we are advocating for reimbursement to providers for SMBP monitoring and related care. An assessment of coverage by state was conducted to identify SMBP gaps in care for Medicaid beneficiaries at the state level. An issue brief outlines key considerations for creating or improving Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for SMBP.

Healthy Living & Social Determinants of Health

AHA and AMA continue to advocate for policies that improve and support heart health, reduce cardiovascular risk and make healthy living possible.

Learn more about AHA state policy and advocacy opportunities through Voices for Healthy Kids Website.


Our Target: BP community and institutional priorities encourage local adoption of policies that reflect a commitment to providing evidenced-based care to patients, heart healthy work environments for employees and heart healthy living conditions for community members.

Institutional policy adoption and implementation by individual organizations can be:

  • a powerful means to improve health equity by addressing social determinants of health. 
  • a speedier approach to realizing impact
  • leveraged at state and federal levels to encourage environmental change for supporting heart health.
  • Related Resources

    • Validated Device Listing
      The US Blood Pressure Validated Device Listing (VDL) is the first U.S. list of BP measurement devices developed to assist physicians and patients in identifying BP devices that have been validated for clinical accuracy.
    • New CPT Codes to Cover Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP)
      Overview of new CPT codes for providers that offer SMBP related clinical services
    • PDF previewSMBP Coverage Insights: Medicaid
      The AMA recently released SMBP Coverage Insights: Medicaid which reflects a State-specific of summary including the level of coverage, requirements for preauthorization, and inclusion of an appropriately-sized cuff.
    • Validated BP Device Procurement Policy & Procedure Template
      Intended uses: Health care organizations and employers are encouraged to use this model policy developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA)

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