Blue Review
A newsletter for Medicaid providers

May 2019

Blood Pressure Screening

According to the American Heart Association, screening for blood pressure is one of the most important components to a medical exam. Because high blood pressure typically has no symptoms, and further increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, this screening component is vital to your assessment and your patients’ health1. Both children and adults can develop high blood pressure, and about 75 million American adults (29%) have diagnosed high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association states, “The death rate from high blood pressure increased by nearly 11% in the United States between 2005 and 2015.” Additionally, 45% of U.S. deaths in 2012 were a result of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, all of which can be decreased by practicing healthier lifestyles with adequate exercise and healthy nutrition2.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) recognizes the importance of a complete health assessment including blood pressure measurement. Various Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) measures include blood pressure assessment as a measurement component.

As a provider, you are aware that education is important to improve health literacy and healthy living. BCBSTX strives to emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyle choices to our members.

Best Practice Summary:

  1. Discuss the importance of heart health, physical activity, healthy nutrition and regular blood pressure screenings with your patients and document your findings/education.
  2. Outreach to your patients who have not had their Texas Health Steps (THSteps) checkupleaving_site Icon or preventive care exam to assist them in scheduling their appointments.
  3. Follow up with your patients to ensure medication adherence and healthy lifestyle compliance.

Reference and review BCBSTX’s Preventive Care Guidelines and Clinical Practice Guidelines, and the THSteps for providers websiteleaving_site Icon for more information on this and other important topics for treating your patients.

1American Heart Association. Heart Health Screeningsleaving_site Icon, June 30, 2017.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Blood Pressureleaving_site Icon, Nov. 30, 2016.