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View Public Comments for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) (CAG-00067R2)

Benziger, Catherine
Essentia Health
I support the medicare coverage of ABPM for the diagnosis of hypertension. I see the burden of hypertension and subsequent development of cardiovascular disease on a daily basis in my busy cardiology clinic in Duluth, MN. ABPM is recommended in the most recent 2017 ACC/AHA hypertension guidelines for routine monitoring of blood pressure in those patients with discrepant home BP and clinic readings. However, it is very difficult to obtain this. Our healthcare system currently requires a visit with nephrology who are the sole prescribers of ABPM. A visit with nephrology could take 3 months or more for a test that should be readily accessible by primary care and cardiology physicians across the country! Without ABPM we often over treat patients with high BP in the clinic and this can lead to side effects and falls in our elderly patients. Undertreating BP can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart failure. I encourage Medicare to improve coverage for ABPM for the diagnosis of hypertension. Thank you for your time.