Medicare is adding coverage for a number of preventive services to reduce cardiovascular disease, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
This policy contributes to the Million Hearts initiative led jointly by CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with other Department of Health and Human Services agencies, communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations and private sector partners across the country to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years, CMS stated.
Under this coverage decision, CMS will cover one face-to-face visit each year to allow patients and their care providers to determine how to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The visit must be furnished by primary care practitioners, such as a beneficiary’s family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or nurse practitioner, in settings such as physicians’ offices. During these visits, providers may screen for hypertension and promote healthy diet.
The new coverage policy does not change current Medicare coverage for beneficiaries diagnosed with cardiovascular disease to receive assessment and intervention services, the agency added.