Heart disease is as serious as…yes, a heart attack

February is American Heart Month. But not because of Valentine’s Day.

It’s because heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.2 It results in 12.4 million visits to the doctor’s office, and 1.9 million hospital outpatient visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2

Making smarter choices helps — but it’s not always enough

Heart disease can often be avoided if people make healthy choices. Eating better and exercising regularly can go a long way toward preventing many of the conditions that can contribute to heart disease.

But when heart disease is diagnosed, medicine may be prescribed. And as we all know, not everyone takes their medicine as prescribed.

What Prime studied

Prime analyzed three years worth of pharmacy and medical claims data from nearly 6 million commercial members from nine health plans, looking at both the rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) events and their cost.3 We learned that 62 percent of those studied had claims for a CHD event. Nearly 30 percent of CHD events occurred in members with artherosclerosis cardiovascular disease. Nearly one-third of these members had no record of any statin therapy in the year before the three-year study period.

When members who could benefit from cholesterol-lowering drug therapy aren’t being treated optimally, or at all, they’re at greater risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) events — and employers can be on the hook for higher overall health care costs. Average cost for a CHD event across the medical and pharmacy benefit is $56,233.3

Improving adherence improves outcomes

Prime works closely with your Blue Cross plan. That integration helps to makes adherence programs for employees with heart disease more effective. For example, GuidedHealth® can identify employees at risk that may not be on needed drug therapy. Implementing these strategies can not only help control the overall cost of care — it can help make sure that people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well.

Talk to your plan representative to learn more about our adherence solutions.

Next: Prime's contact centers achieve best in industry


  1. Heart Disease now Kills One of Every Three Americans. By Robert Preidt. December 16, 2015. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_156255.html
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NCHS. Deaths, percent of total deaths, and death rates for the 15 leading causes of death in 10-year age groups, by race and sex: United States, 1999-2013. Accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
  3. “Beyond PCSK9 prices: How valuable is coronary heart disease prevention?” By Kevin Bowen. November 11, 2015. Prime Therapeutics. Accessed at: http://blog.primetherapeutics.com/blog/kevin-bowen/beyond-psck9-prices%3A-how-valuable-is-coronary-heart-disease-event-prevention#sthash.KuJsy2o7.pXcTyLyz.dpuf
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