Frequently Asked Questions

About the PHCC Initiative

The PHCC program is an initiative of the PHA Scientific Leadership Council that began in late 2011 with the goal of developing an accreditation program for pulmonary hypertension (PH) Centers in the United States. Accreditation, in broad terms, will be based on a Center’s overall commitment to PH patients, breadth of health care professionals involved and scope of services provided. Two types of centers will be accredited: Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC) and Regional Clinical Programs (RCP). Both accredited CCCs and RCPs will have demonstrated a commitment to providing expert-level care based on published consensus guidelines.

PHCC accreditation signifies that a PH program satisfies a set of criteria established by the PHA Scientific Leadership Council. These criteria have been developed with input from many PH stakeholders including physicians, allied health care professionals, PHA leadership and patients, and are considered important for a program to deliver high-quality care. An accredited center will have demonstrated its ability to properly diagnose and the capacity to appropriately manage these complex patients. Accreditation will ultimately improve awareness among professionals and patients about where to seek high-quality care, a key element in improving access to care.

The full accreditation criteria have been made available since late 2013 and are viewable here. PHA launched the PHCC program in July 2014 with a call for online applications from prospective CCCs. It should be noted that RCP applications will not be accepted until early 2017 and applicant programs will be sent notification regarding a specific date. A more complete timeline for the accreditation process is in development, but this initial accreditation process is anticipated to take three to four years.

PHCC accreditation criteria requires Centers to proficiently evaluate all PH patients and correctly differentiate Group 1 (PAH) from other forms of PH, based on standards of care, published diagnostic algorithms and consensus guidelines. Accredited centers must also demonstrate expertise in managing PAH patients with targeted therapies. In addition, recognition and management of Group 4 (CTEPH) cases, per published consensus guidelines, is expected of accredited Centers.

Types of PH Care Centers

Centers of Comprehensive Care

PHA Centers of Comprehensive Care

A PHA-Accredited Center of Comprehensive Care is a highly organized, full-time PH Center that proficiently evaluates PH patients based on published evidence-based guidelines and also provides expert treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients with all of the FDA-approved therapies. CCCs also make important contributions to PH research and education.

Regional Clinical Programs

PHA Regional Clinical Program

A PHA-Accredited Regional Clinical Program is a regional PH Center that proficiently evaluates PH patients based on published evidence-based guidelines and also provides expert treatment of PAH patients with all non-parenteral therapies. An RCP must collaborate with its regional CCCs by referring patients that may benefit from opportunities unavailable at the RCP, including the initiation of advanced parenteral therapies and participation in clinical research protocols.

The PHA Scientific Leadership Council is sensitive to differences between adult and pediatric PH Centers. A task force of pediatric PH experts is analyzing the PHCC structure and criteria and recommending necessary changes for the appropriate evaluation and accreditation of pediatric sites.

For any additional inquiries, comments or concerns, please contact the PHCC Team.