Public Comment Period Begins for New Cardiovascular Quality Measure by NMQF

Doctors, patients, and healthcare stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments by August 12 in support of a new proposed quality measure submission from the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) that seeks to address the gross underutilization of FDA-approved treatment for African Americans with heart failure. Thousands of African Americans with heart disease die needlessly every year due to the Nation’s failure to treat them to the acknowledged standard of care. If adopted, the proposed quality measure can help save countless lives.

 

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2015

Contact:  Andrew Rosenberg, arosenberg@thornrun.com

 

Today is the official start of the public comment period for the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) consideration of a new quality measure to highlight the importance of adherence to the current standard of care for African Americans with heart failure (HF), which was submitted by the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF). Published studies estimates that there are over 550,000 African Americans living with HF, of whom over 150,000 should be prescribed a drug regimen that has been proven to reduce mortality in blacks by 43% and first-time hospitalizations for HF by 38%; however, few actually receive it.

 

“Astonishingly, only a very small portion, about 7%, of African Americans who are clinical eligible for the therapy are getting it,” according to Dr. Gary Puckrein, CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, the proposed measure’s steward. “As a consequence, over 6,500 blacks die prematurely every year because they are not receiving or adhering to standard of care. Approval of this measure by the National Quality Forum is an important step in ensuring African Americans with heart failure have access to the most clinically effective treatment available.”

 

The quality measure submission advanced by the National Minority Quality Forum would act to strongly encourage healthcare providers to ensure that eligible African American patients with heart disease receive the proper course of care treatment – namely, fixed-dose hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate. The benefits of this FDA-approved treatment have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other peer-reviewed sources. Moreover, this proposal is based on an American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline calling for this specific treatment protocol.

 

The proposed has earned the full support of the Association of Black Cardiologists.

 

In order to demonstrate public support for consideration of this proposal, members of the general public are encouraged to comment by August 12 via the NQF’s webpage.