Student Pharmacists Target the Million Hearts Initiative for Potentially at-risk Medicare Beneficiaries

Document Type


Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


American Public Health Association (APHA)


Boston, MA

Conference Dates

November 2-6, 2013

Date of Presentation



Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are sponsoring partners of Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years. Million Hearts targets the "ABCS" of clinical prevention (appropriate Aspirin therapy, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation). Objective: This study measured "ABCS" outcomes and provided education to a Medicare population. Methods: Twelve healthcare outreach events were offered to Medicare beneficiaries in Northern/Central California between October and November 2012. Student pharmacists, under supervision of pharmacists, provided medication therapy management (MTM) services, along with blood pressure, cholesterol and other healthcare screenings with corresponding education. Data collection included beneficiary demographics, medication, systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and cholesterol measurement, and smoking status. Results: 586 beneficiaries received MTM services, with 286 (49%) reporting daily aspirin use. Of those with self-reported hypertension who had their blood pressure measured, 103/239 (43%) were uncontrolled (defined as SBP ≥ 140 or DBP ≥ 90). Of those without self-reported hypertension whose blood pressure was measured, 40/131 (31%) were uncontrolled. Four-hundred sixteen (86%) indicated having their cholesterol checked within the last year. Of the 204 beneficiaries in whom cholesterol was measured onsite, 49 (24%) had a total cholesterol level ≥ 200 mg/dL. In total 414 (71%) were non-smokers and 144 (25%) were former smokers. Conclusion: Student pharmacists can assist in identifying at-risk Medicare beneficiaries through "ABCS" health screenings and provide education to improve beneficiary outcomes.

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