Reducing Risk of Heart Disease Among Members with Whole-Person Care

Innovations & Initiatives, Health & Wellness


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February is Heart Disease Awareness Month and brings national focus to the risk factors impacting the heart health of Americans. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that one person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from heart disease and it is the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups. Because of its prevalence, heart disease creates a significant strain on individuals, caregivers, communities, and healthcare providers and systems.

At Centene, we support members through programs that educate and address key risk factors of heart disease, connecting them to services, and empowering them to develop healthy lifestyle habits to reduce their chances of developing heart disease.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are important modifiable risk factors attributed to heart disease. Medication management and adherence are key to mitigating heart disease risks for individuals with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Leveraging motivational interviewing strategies, our pharmacy and care management teams engage members identified as having barriers to taking their medications to provide tools and resources that encourage adherence. Introducing management strategies such as pill organizers, 90-day supply fills, medication synchronization, and delivery or mail-order usage simplifies medication management for members and helps to alleviate barriers. Additionally, many of our local health plans supply members with a blood pressure monitor and educate them about the use and meaning of readings to promote member self-management and reduce disease progression. The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) performance measures for Controlling High Blood Pressure (CBP) for those diagnosed with hypertension across all Centene Medicaid plans continue to improve year-over-year, improving blood pressure management and reducing risk of significant health events such as heart attack and stroke.

Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Centene’s smoking cessation program provides members with education, counseling, healthy habit support, as well as smoking cessation products. Each Centene health plan has a smoking cessation hotline members can access any time they need it, while trying to quit or even after quitting.

Promoting optimal heart health for members with known high-risk diagnosis is a vital component to battling heart disease. By integrating our care approach within programs for conditions that are known contributors to the development of heart disease such as diabetes, obesity, and alcohol misuse, we are better able to reduce the risks among those we care for. Through innovations like our medication adherence predictive model, we are able to leverage technology to identify members most at risk for non-adherence to their medications-enabling support before they become non-adherent, and a disease progresses. For HEDIS Comprehensive Diabetes Care (CDC) measures, Centene Medicaid plans saw improved outcomes in 2022, further solidifying the importance of early intervention for diabetes care to prevent serious complications including heart disease. Centene’s whole-person approach helps members by providing care that address their physical, mental, and socioeconomic needs so they can proactively manage their health and live their lives to the fullest.