DALLAS, September 27, 2023 — The American Heart Association and American Medical Association (AMA) nationally recognized 1,709 health care organizations (HCOs) — 400 more than in 2022 — for their efforts to prioritize control of their patients’ blood pressure (BP), a leading preventable risk factor for heart disease, stroke and premature death.

According to the 2022 American Heart Association Statistical Update, nearly half of U.S. adults — 121.5 million — are living with high BP. High BP accounts for more than $51 billion in annual health care costs.[1]

Target: BP™ is a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association aimed at reducing the number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP. Target: BP helps health care organizations work to improve BP control rates leveraging the evidence-based AMA MAP™ framework (Measure Accurately; Act Rapidly; and Partner with Patients), and recognizes organizations committed to improving BP control. In addition to submitting annual data for BP control rates, participants are asked to attest to their team’s commitment to accuracy in BP measurement.

The organizations recognized by the Target: BP initiative for their efforts this year represent 47 states or U.S. territories and serve more than 33 million patients, including 8.6 million people with hypertension. Among those organizations, more than half achieved Gold or Gold+ award level recognition, which requires BP control rates of greater than or equal to 70%. About 45% of awardees achieved Silver recognition, which requires BP control data to be submitted and 4 out of 6 evidence-based BP activities to be completed. The remainder received Participation-level recognition for submitting data for the first time and committing to reducing the number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP.

“Millions of people are affected by high BP and many do not even realize they have hypertension,” said Joseph C. Wu, M.D., PhD, FAHA, volunteer president of the American Heart Association, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Stanford University. “Research shows gaps in hypertension awareness, treatment and control. Programs like Target: BP help health care organizations and care teams work to close those gaps, lowering blood pressure control rates through patient awareness and education on managing risk factors, such as lifestyle choices and family history, and improving overall well-being.”

Since the American Heart Association and American Medical Association launched Target: BP™ in 2015, nearly 3,700 health care organizations have joined the nationwide movement to make heart health a priority — sharing a common goal to improve health outcomes associated with heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the U.S.

“The American Medical Association and American Heart Association remain focused on ensuring all Americans have access to quality health care and all physicians and care teams have the support they need to control high blood pressure,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH. “We will continue working together to make hypertension control a top priority and lead efforts to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and improve the nation’s health.”

Target: BP launched new award categories in 2021, emphasizing the importance of accurate BP measurement equipment, regular staff education and training, and reliable systems of care to ensure accurate BP measurement for every patient.

More information about Target: BP can be found at TargetBP.org and a list of recognized organizations can be found here (PDF). 

Additional Resources: 

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physician’s powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises, and driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.


For Media Inquiries:

Michelle Rosenfeld, American Heart Association: 214-706-1173, michelle.rosenfeld@heart.org

Kelly Jakubek, American Medical Association: 312-464-4430, kelly.jakubek@ama-assn.org

[1] Table 8-1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2022 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2022;145:e153–e639. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052.