UnitedHealth Group Joins "Million Hearts Initiative," Public/Private Partnership Spearheaded by Key Federal Health Agencies

September 13, 2011
  • United Health Foundation’s $2.8 million grant to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to help fight smoking – the No. 1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease
  • UnitedHealth Group to assist in preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years through advancing comprehensive prevention and clinical engagement activities

UnitedHealth Group announced it is supporting the “Million Hearts Initiative,” a public/private partnership whose goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this partnership will unite key stakeholders throughout the health care system in an effort to prevent the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, facilitate timely diagnosis, and enhance the quality of clinical interventions, all of which will help improve the nation’s health.

As part of its commitment to the initiative, United Health Foundation is awarding a three-year, $2.8 million grant to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to fund its “For Youth By Youth” program. The grant will recruit and train student anti-tobacco advocates in at least 20 states who will work with their peers to help achieve the goal of reducing the youth smoking rate from 20 percent to 15 percent by 2015, which is a reduction of nearly 900,000 youth smokers. Peer-to-peer anti-smoking outreach has proved effective in helping young people avoid tobacco addiction.

UnitedHealth Group’s engagement in the Million Hearts Initiative complements its long commitment to fighting cardiovascular disease. Through its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses, UnitedHealth Group has developed aggressive and integrated cardiovascular disease prevention and clinical performance improvement programs to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and help keep people healthy.

“We at UnitedHealth Group appreciate the goals of the Million Hearts Initiative and recognize its importance to improving the health of the nation,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. “We remain committed to continuously innovating in the fight against cardiovascular disease, and this initiative is an exciting opportunity to partner with public and private stakeholders and achieve even greater success for all Americans.”

In addition to the United Health Foundation grant to Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Foundation will:

  • Include the Million Hearts Initiative in the 2011 edition of America’s Health Rankings®, which is produced in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention and provides a comprehensive look at each state’s health, including the burden of cardiovascular disease. The December 2011 release of America’s Health Rankings also will feature a special commentary on the initiative and will use its data and analytics to support the initiative’s goal of measuring the effectiveness of community prevention efforts.

  • Augment the local community health strategic planning coalitions that its United Health Foundation supports in partnership with the National Business Coalition on Health to devote special attention to cardiovascular disease prevention and community-based resource development.

UnitedHealth Group will:

  • Recruit its consumer Internet sites to support the initiative by highlighting the importance of the ABCS, which comprise the cornerstone of the initiative: Aspirin for people at high risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation.

  • Feature the Million Hearts Initiative in its innovative “Styling Healthier Futures” health promotion and disease prevention collaboration with the African-American hair care industry that enlists professional hairstylists as “health deputies.”

  • Expand its national market access to the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) which, in partnership with the CDC, the Y, and six pharmacy chain partners, leverages proven models that drive earlier identification for people with pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes, improves individual compliance, better health outcomes, and lower costs for consumers, payers and plan sponsors. This program advances the goal of the Million Hearts Initiative by offering access to the CDC’s evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) through local community care providers, and the Diabetes Control Program (DCP) that offers additional points of routine diabetes care and complication prevention via local pharmacists.

  • More prominently feature the measurement and evaluation of clinical care delivery in UnitedHealth Group’s leading data-driven cardiac performance improvement and evaluation activities designed to improve cardiovascular disease clinical outcomes. In this regard, UnitedHealth Group will continue to advance its administrative claims data analysis and performance improvement feedback activities, with the clinical encounter data necessary to achieve the initiative’s focus on the ABCS. Key to realizing this goal will be continued work with medical specialty societies such as the American College of Cardiology and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons to make available even more robust data for the evaluation of these evidence-based priorities.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.

About United Health Foundation
Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well-being of communities. Since established by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $187 million to improve health and health care. For more information, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org

Be The First to Know.

Stay up-to-the-minute on the latest headlines from UnitedHealth Group.