Barnum selected to participate in new national initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes


Dr. Otis Barnum of Natchitoches Medical Specialists was selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as one of 516 awardees in 47 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes among millions of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.

Dr. Barnum and his research staff will work to decrease cardiovascular disease risk by assessing a patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and applying prevention interventions. KAMP Medical Research and Natchitoches Medical Specialists are dedicated to patient health and well being through clinical practice, education and research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability in the U.S. One in three deaths are caused by heart attacks and strokes, resulting in over $300 billion of health care costs yearly.

Participants in the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model’s intervention group will use a data-driven, predictive modeling approach to generate personalized risk scores and develop plans to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Selected practitioners were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group.

Overall, 3.3 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries will participate in the 5-year model. KAMP Medical Research (Drs. Otis Barnum and Warren Botnick, and Director of Research Meg Barnum, DNP) will participate in the intervention group, working with Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries to determine their 10-year individual risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Barnum and staff will then work with individuals to identify the best approach to reducing their risk of heart attack or stroke – for example, smoking cessation interventions, blood pressure management or cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin. Each beneficiary will receive a personalized risk modification plan that will target their specific risk factors. The research practitioners will be paid based on the reduction of absolute risk for heart disease or stroke among their high-risk beneficiaries.

This model is part of Million Hearts, a broad national initiative co-led by CMS and CDC to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

For additional information about the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Model, including a fact sheet and a list of participants, visit:

From left are Amber Bedgood, Candice Holden MA, Meg Barnum, DNP, Dr. Otis Barnum, DO,FACP, Dana Breedlove LPN, Mary Cadwallader LPN and Emily Moore, Research