Published on August 11, 2016

Meritas Health Cardiology Selected For National Heart Attack Prevention Program

Meritas Health CardiologyThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services selected Meritas Health Cardiology as one of three local healthcare providers to participate in its national Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model. The goal of Million Hearts is to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for millions of Medicare patients. Overall, nearly 20,000 healthcare providers and over 3.3 million Medicare patients will participate in the five-year model.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability in the United States. One in three deaths is caused by heart attacks and strokes, resulting in over $300 billion of healthcare costs each year.

After being selected for the Million Hearts program, applicants were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group in accordance with the model’s randomized control design. Meritas Health Cardiology was assigned to the intervention group. Its 14 board-certified cardiologists will use a data-driven approach to obtain personalized risk scores, work with Medicare patients to determine their 10-year individual risk for a heart attack or stroke, and create specific plans for reducing their risk.

“We are excited to be a part of the Million Hearts initiative,” said Michael A. Montgomery, MD, a cardiologist with Meritas Health Cardiology. “As part of the intervention group, we will work with patients on an individual basis to identify the best approaches for reducing their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.” Prevention interventions include smoking cessation education, blood pressure management, and cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin.

Participating healthcare facilities will receive payment for reducing the absolute risk for heart disease or stroke in their high-risk patients.

Million Hearts is a national initiative co-led by CMS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information on the Million Hearts initiative, visit

About North Kansas City Hospital and Meritas Health

For more than half a century, North Kansas City Hospital has been the Northland’s preferred healthcare provider. The hospital serves the community with 451 licensed beds, more than 3,000 employees, and 520 physicians representing 46 medical specialties. From a Level III neonatal intensive care unit to home health and hospice services, NKCH provides a lifetime of care.

NKCH offers award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs and advanced cancer treatment options, including world-class care through a partnership with the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated program.

Through its Meritas Health subsidiary, North Kansas City Hospital offers the largest network of physician practices in the Northland, with 135 physicians and advanced practitioners in 30 convenient locations, including express care clinics in the Liberty and Gladstone Hy-Vee stores.

The hospital’s mission, vision and values reflect a strong commitment to the health and well-being of the Northland community and beyond. Last year, NKCH sponsored 60 charitable and community organizations and served more than 24,000 people through its dynamic Community Health & Wellness programs. And, it recently became the first hospital in Kansas City to offer a zero-percent financing option to help patients manage their medical expenses.