Eliminating copays helps reduce blood pressure in Kaiser Permanente study

Kaiser Permanente blood pressure control program produces results

He did not provide information on patients’ costs or overall program costs and said that wasn’t part of the study. High blood pressure affects one in three U.S. adults, and the condition caused or contributed to more than 348,000 deaths in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Normal blood pressure is considered a reading of less than 120 over 80; high blood pressure is 140 over 90 or higher. High blood pressure typically causes no symptoms, which gives it the nickname, “the silent killer,” and can sometimes be managed with a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity plus avoiding salty foods, heavy drinking and excess weight. But two or more prescription drugs are often needed to bring high blood pressure under control. Donna Arnett, president of the American Heart Association, said “it’s well documented that compliance to medication increases” when it’s simpler to take.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57599544/eliminating-copays-helps-reduce-blood-pressure-in-kaiser-permanente-study/

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That compares to 64 percent of people with blood pressure problems nationwide. Two features likely played a big role in the program’s success: In 2005, the region started using a single generic pill combining two common blood pressure drugs, lisinopril and a diuretic. The pill is less expensive than taking the two medicines separately, and easier to use. And in 2007, the program began offering free follow-up visits with medical assistants, rather than doctors, checking blood pressure readings. Besides charging no insurance co-payment, these brief visits were available at more flexible times, increasing the chances that patients would stick with the program. “Patients really liked it because it was shorter, more convenient and more affordable,” Jaffe said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_23913288/kaiser-permanente-blood-pressure-control-program-produces-results

An accompanying editorial highlights some of the limitations of the study. Among them, the authors suggest that it may not be BP combination but instead the characteristics of the persons with that combination that lead to greater mortality risk. Note: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Megan Hanks or Angela Collom. To interview the lead author, please contact Willie Logan at willie.logan@va.gov or 901-577-7393. 2. Adding Tofacitinib to Treatment with DMARDs Improves Pain and Function in Patients with Active RA Adding tofacitinib to treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may help improve symptoms in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nonbiologic DMARDs, including methotrexate, are commonly used to treat RA.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.medindia.net/news/too-low-diastolic-blood-pressure-can-be-deadly-for-ckd-patients-study-123931-1.htm

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