Wellmont Medical Associates Nationally Recognized for Reducing Blood Pressure Levels Among Patients

Jan. 10, 2017 – Wellmont Medical Associates’ coordinated effort to recognize, monitor and treat high blood pressure continues to make a significant dent in one of the most prominent health issues for the region and nation.

Wellmont Medical Associates was honored during a recent celebration for the American Medical Group Foundation and its Measure Up/Pressure Down hypertension campaign. The practice earned the Most Improved award among medical groups with fewer than 150 physicians. During the last year, the number of patients who achieved a controlled or normal blood pressure increased by 27.7 percent.

“We completed this program on a high note, receiving this honor for having 88 percent of identified patients end the year with their blood pressure under control,” said Stephen Combs, M.D., chief executive medical officer of Wellmont Medical Associates and Wellmont Health System’s senior vice president for physician and clinical integration.

“It’s the second time we have been recognized, demonstrating our commitment to impact people’s lives and help our patients develop long-term habits that will benefit their health.”

The national average for individuals with controlled or normal blood pressure is 71 percent. In Tennessee, only 59.7 percent have normal blood pressure. In Virginia, it’s only 60.7 percent.

Wellmont Medical Associates has dedicated the last three years to a concentrated effort to assist people with managing their blood pressure.

“By treating this condition, we’re helping prevent heart attacks, strokes and long-lasting heart failure, while taking other steps toward improving people’s health,” Dr. Combs said. “It’s an important step for them to live longer and healthier lives. We’re excited about our progress and will continue working to help the remainder of our patients achieve better blood pressure results while ensuring others stay on track.”

Nearly eight out of every 10 people who have their first stroke have high blood pressure, so efforts to reduce blood pressure to normal are vital to enhancing and improving overall health and quality of life.

The Measure Up/Pressure Down processes consisted of the foundation’s planks for hypertension success, which include having:

  • Direct care staff trained in accurate blood pressure measurement
  • Hypertension guidelines used and monitored for adherence
  • Blood pressure addressed for every hypertension patient during every primary care visit
  • Thirty-day return visits for patients with uncontrolled blood pressure
  • Prevention, engagement and self-management programs in place
  • A registry used to identify and track hypertension patients
  • All team members trained in the importance of blood pressure goals
  • All specialists intervening with patients whose blood pressure is not in control

For more information about Wellmont Medical Associates, please visit www.wellmontphysicians.org.