May 19, 2021 / Liz Kaylor
Baltimore Medical System Awarded Grant to Upgrade Telehealth Capabilities, Issue Wireless-Enabled Blood Pressure Monitors to Hypertensive Patients
Maryland’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center joins national effort to improve blood pressure control and self-monitoring among racial and ethnic minority populations
Baltimore (May 13, 2021) – Baltimore Medical System (BMS), Maryland’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), announced today it will be issuing more than 4,000 blood pressure monitors to patients being treated for hypertension as part of a national effort to improve blood pressure control and self-monitoring among racial and ethnic minority populations.
The National Hypertension Control Initiative is a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Office of Minority Health. Through this initiative, HRSA awarded $89.5 million in fiscal year 2021 in supplemental funding to health centers receiving Health Center Program operational grant (H80) funding that meet specified hypertension criteria.
As a recipient of HRSA funding, Baltimore Medical System (BMS) is upgrading its telehealth platform to optimize patient access, effectiveness, and the virtual care experience. BMS patients utilizing telehealth will now have high resolution video, more reliable internet connections, and an overall more user-friendly interface when consulting with BMS’s team of 69 providers and 106 medical assistants. In addition, 31 BMS providers will be able to issue Bluetooth or wireless-enabled blood pressure monitors to hypertensive patients, allowing the providers to receive near real-time data on patients’ past and current blood pressure from home.
“During the pandemic, our physicians have relied heavily on telehealth to care for our patients, and we have come to realize what a valuable resource it is in improving access to care for everyone in Baltimore City – especially those who lack transportation, childcare, or have other barriers limiting their ability to see their doctor in person,” said Ursula McClymont, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Baltimore Medical System. “Even as more patients are vaccinated against COVID, we plan to continue to offer telehealth options and are making the necessary investments to enhance our virtual capabilities. The blood pressure monitors being provided through the National Hypertension Control Initiative are a wonderful example of how telehealth can be expanded to allow physicians to provide even more comprehensive monitoring and care for patients at home, especially those in underserved communities.”
Baltimore Medical System expects its upgraded telehealth platform to be operational and to begin issuing blood pressure monitors to patients in June 2021. For more information, please call 443-703-3600 or visit www.bmsi.org.
About Baltimore Medical System
Baltimore Medical System (BMS) is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system in Maryland. Operating eight health centers, three pharmacies, and eight school-based health sites in Baltimore, BMS serves more than 55,000 patients annually, including those who are underserved and uninsured. With a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers and community health workers who provide holistic care for patients beyond the exam room, BMS is committed to providing healthcare with dignity, ensuring Baltimore City’s most vulnerable citizens can become engaged stakeholders in their own healthcare. This leads to better health outcomes—and opens them up to greater employment and educational opportunities, financial security, and family stability. For more information, visit www.bmsi.org.