AHA Submits Comments to NCQA on Proposed High Blood Pressure Measure Changes to HEDIS Measure
On March 18, 2014, the American Heart Association submitted comments to NCQA about its proposed changes to the HEDIS High Blood Pressure measure, strongly urging NCQA not to stratify this measure by age. NCQA proposed to:
- Measure if healthy adults under the age of 60 should strive for a blood pressure below 140/90.
- Measure if healthy adults over the age of 60 and their healthcare providers only need to strive for a blood pressure below 150/90.
The AHA stated that the goal should be blood pressure control below 140/90, regardless of age. The overarching arguments made included:
- Adoption of a stratified blood pressure goal in a quality measure may adversely affect community and public health efforts to reduced hypertension.
- There is currently insufficient randomized controlled trials evidence to support a differential hypertension treatment benefit for patients older and younger than 60 years.
- The methodology used in preparing the writing group recommendations failed to consider evidence beyond the use of randomized controlled trials.
- Current metanalyses do support systolic blood pressure control of <140/90.
- Current guidelines from various countries recommend that systolic blood pressure <140/90.