Every 34 seconds, heart disease claims the life of 1 person in the United States. It's the top killer of men and women in America. Over 650,000 Americans will have a heart attack this year...But MHP's cardiometabolic team is fighting back.

Coronary Artery Calcium scoring (CAC scoring) is a simple but effective tool in determining risk of cardiac events. CAC scores directly correlate plaque burden with the patient's risk for heart attack or even death. Scores range from 0 (no plaque burden) to over 1,000, with 1-99 being mild, 100-299 being moderate, 300-999 severe, and 1000+ extensive.

The test to determine this score is a non-invasive, 15-minute CT scan that costs $49.

During last year's employee fundraising campaign, the cardiopulmonary department requested $1,200 to cover CAC scans for patients who need them but cannot afford them. Of the patients who benefited from this grant, 78% of them had potential risk of heart attack or failure within the next 5-10 years.

The results led to the collaboration with other departments to improve our patient’s health by treating the risk factor, diagnosing the issues, and developing a plan to reduce the risk of heart disease (e.g., smoking cessation, lab testing, diagnostic testing, and medication addition/adjustments). The patient’s quality of life improves through prevention at the primary care level through the treatment and management of the cardiometabolic disease across the continuum.

The CAC findings and Cardiometabolic Care Program put MHP on the map, too. Our facility is currently the only health care facility to be delivering cardiometabolic medicine from Primary Care through the multiple specialties such as Cardiology, Nephrology and Endocrinology. The quality outcomes we have seen in our patients are an incredible accomplishment that may soon be published.

Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod, an internationally recognized expert in the field of cardiometabolic care, recently visited MHP with a team from Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. They were able to see how we deliver high quality care in a rural setting, especially using such a low cost highly predictive screening tool such as the CAC scoring. Congratulations to MHP's cardiometabolic team for making a difference for our patients.