The US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services reimburses ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for suspected white coat hypertension. We estimated ABPM use between 2007 and 2010 among a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries (≥65 years). In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, the percentage of beneficiaries with ABPM claims was 0.10%, 0.11%, 0.10%, and 0.09%, respectively. A prior diagnosis of hypertension was more common among those with versus without an ABPM claim (77.7% vs. 47.0%). Among hypertensive beneficiaries, 95.2% of those with an ABPM claim were taking antihypertensive medication. Age 75-84 versus 65-74 years, having coronary heart disease, having chronic kidney disease, having multiple prior hypertension diagnoses, and having filled multiple classes of antihypertensive medication were associated with an increased odds for an ABPM claim among hypertensive beneficiaries. ABPM use was very low among Medicare beneficiaries and was not primarily used for diagnosing white coat hypertension in untreated individuals.
Keywords: Hypertension; reimbursement claims; white coat hypertension.
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