The Maryland-based Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), the most prominent organization in the country committed to the prevention, research, education, and advocacy of pulmonary hypertension (PH), has just announced that it has accredited the first 6 Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers (PHCC) in the US, as part of its effort to offer support to PH patients. According to the Association’s stringent criteria, the accreditation program offers 2 types of designations: either a PHA-accredited Center of Comprehensive Care (CCC), or a PHA-accredited Regional Clinical Program (RCP). Listed below are the 6 fully-accredited PHCCs:
- Inova Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax, VA.
- Penn Pulmonary Hypertension Program / Penn Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, University of Pennsylvania Health System and Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.
- Kentuckiana Pulmonary Associates, Louisville, KY.
- UC Health Pulmonary Hypertension Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
- Cottage Pulmonary Hypertension Center, Cottage Health System, Santa Barbara, CA.
- Stanford Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
According to Dr. Murali Chakinala, the PHCC Committee Chair, the program and its designations serve as quality assurance to PH patients and their loved ones, ensuring that they receive adequate treatment and medical advice from PH experts at a well-equipped institution. The accreditation process is quite comprehensive in that it involves sending in a detailed application and a personal inspection of over 20 PH specialists.
A PHCC accreditation means the PH program at that particular institution meets or exceeds the high standards of the PHA Scientific Leadership Council — a respected group of 28 leaders in PH — and is able to consistently make accurate diagnoses and properly administer the latest in PH management and treatment.
Dr. Steven Kawut of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania explained that this accreditation requires PHCCs to contribute to the disease’s patient registry to ensure pertinent information on diagnostics and rendered treatment are accessible and timely, so as to form a better picture of PH on a national level. The overarching goal with this new initiative is to benefit ongoing and future research, development, and quality control for PH treatment. Additionally, an updated patient registry will allow other healthcare providers to learn of best practices and patterns in therapeutic response.
One of the more recent PH developments these centers could be recommending soon for diagnostic purposes is a non-invasive Doppler echocardiography, which could soon replace the traditional method of right heart catheterization to determine pulmonary artery pressure.