DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.15351 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 15351: Characteristics of Veterans Enrolled in a Nationwide Home Telemonitoring Blood Pressure (BP) Program

AREEF Ishani, David Nelson, Sean Nugent, Brent Taylor, Karen L Margolis, Oliva Taylor, Jacob McPherson, Srihari Raju, Hanna Ibrahim, Nayanjot K Rai, Paul Drawz
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: Guidelines recommend home BP monitoring for the diagnosis and management of hypertension. The Veterans Affairs (VA) has a robust nationwide home BP monitoring telehealth (HT) program.

Aims: We aimed to determine factors associated with being enrolled in the VA’s HT program using a nationwide cohort.

Methods: Veterans with hypertension and a primary care (PC) visit between 4/2013 and 9/2015 were identified and classified as telehealth if they enrolled in the HT program and were issued a home-telehealth BP monitor. Control patients were not enrolled. Patient characteristics including the care assessment needs (CAN) score (validated probability for mortality or hospitalization in the following year) were extracted from the electronic health record (EHR).

Results: Over 33 months, 29,927 (2.5%) veterans were enrolled in the HT program and 1,160,506 (97.5%) veterans with hypertension were not enrolled. Compared to controls, HT patients were of similar age (median 66 years), were more likely to be female (5.6% vs 4.6%), be of Black race (28.7% vs 20.1%), have a higher index median systolic BP (158.4 vs 153 mmHg), have a greater number of PC visits in the 2 years prior (11 vs 7 visits), have a higher median probability of a mortality or hospitalization event within 1 year (13% vs 7%) and were on a greater number of antihypertensive medications than those not enrolled (Table). These veterans were seen by 9,301 PC providers, who enrolled the following percentages of their hypertensive patients (% of patients by % of providers): 0% by 22%, <2% by 24.1%, 2-5% by 28.9%, 5-10% by 16.4%, 10-20% by 6.9% and >20% by 1.7%.

Conclusion: The VA’s HT program is used by a limited number of Veterans. Those enrolled are sicker and have a greater burden of hypertension than those not enrolled. Most providers have a small percentage of their panel of patients enrolled. This preliminary report comes from a study evaluating the effect of HT on BP control, cardiovascular events, and non-cancer mortality.

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