The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) recently announced the accreditation of two new Centers of Comprehensive Care and their inclusion in its Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers (PHCC) initiative. PHA comprehensive care centers can now be found in 23 U.S. states, assisting and providing more treatment options for adults and children with pulmonary hypertension (PH).
The PHCC accreditation program was created to raise the level of care for PH patients. Admission criteria is based on key measures of care, including overall commitment to patients, scope of services provided, and care team expertise.
According to a press release, the two new center are the Vanderbilt Pulmonary Vascular Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Designed to help the PHA advance its mission of extending and improving the lives of PH patients, the PHCC program’s goals include better informed patients and medical professionals, improved patient access to centers with PH expertise, and more and better opportunities for research collaboration among the centers.
Accreditation criteria were set by the PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council, which includes healthcare professionals and researchers recognized for their excellence in working with PH patients, and the PHCC Oversight Committee.
PH is a rare lung disease that is associated with increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, the arteries that carry deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs. PH is a chronic disease that can lead to right heart failure without medical care. The condition is diagnosed when blood pressure of the lungs becomes higher than 25 mm of mercury (Hg) at rest, or 30 mm Hg while exercising. Normal pulmonary artery pressure is between 8 mm and 20 mm Hg at rest.
PH symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. Due to the difficulty in diagnosing PH, which is often mistaken for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and subsequent delay in treatment, a patient’s average survival is 2.8 years post-diagnosis.
Since its launch, the PHCC program has accredited a total of 34 care centers, including 30 adult centers and four specialized pediatric ones. All accredited centers agree to contribute to the PHA Registry (PHAR), a patient registry collecting data used to evaluate outcomes in PH patients, and providing researchers with important information into this progressive disorder to advance discoveries that might improve the treatment and care of PH.
More information on PHCC initiative and its 23 comprehensive care centers is available through this link.