Silver Spring, Md. (Feb. 2, 2016) – The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has announced the addition of three more centers receiving Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center (PHCC) accreditation, bringing the total to 32.
The PHA-accredited PHCC program is a new initiative of PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council to create an accreditation program to raise the level of care for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients in the United States. Accreditation is based on key measures of care for PH patients, including a Center’s overall commitment to PH patients, breadth of healthcare professionals involved and scope of services provided.
PH, sometimes called “the other high blood pressure,” is increased pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs that can lead to death from heart failure. With symptoms that include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, many people suffering from PH are frequently misdiagnosed and treated for other illnesses, such as asthma. Without appropriate treatment, the average length of survival for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension — one form of the incurable, life-threatening disease — can be only 2.8 years after diagnosis.
PHA is hopeful as it seeks to improve overall care and outcomes for people with PH. In its 25 years, PHA’s work has led to significant advances in PH care, including the availability of 14 FDA-approved treatments. The PHCC program helps to advance the mission of extending and improving the lives of people living with PH. PHA also recently launched the nationwide Heart2CurePH (#Heart2CurePH) public awareness campaign to encourage earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council and the PHCC Oversight Committee — comprised of global leaders in the field of PH — set the criteria for PHCC accreditation. This designation means a program demonstrates a dedication to making a proper diagnosis and has the capacity to appropriately and comprehensively manage PH patients. Accreditation criteria reflect input from physicians, allied healthcare professionals, patients and PHA leadership. There are two types of accreditation: Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC) and Regional Clinical Programs (RCP). Interested centers can now apply online through the PH Care Centers website.
The three newly accredited PHCCs are:
- Yale Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program – New Haven, Conn.
- Orlando Health Heart Institute Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program – Orlando, Fla.
- Herma Heart Center at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wis.
PHCCs will also contribute to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry (PHAR), tracking diagnostic and treatment patterns at a national level. PHAR will help analysts collect data from as many patients as possible, evaluate trends and determine quality improvements for the care of PH patients. Linking PHCCs through a national network will increase collaboration in the PH community through clinical, quality improvement and investigative partnerships.
For more information on PHCC, go to www.PHCareCenters.org or email PHCC@PHAssociation.org.
About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., with a growing list of chapters across the country, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. Its mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH; its vision is a world without PH, empowered by hope. PHA achieves this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families and medical professionals. Among its programs, PHA facilitates more than 245 support groups around the country and delivers continuing education for medical professionals through PHA Online University. For 12 consecutive years, PHA has received the highest rating — four stars — for fiscal accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top half of one percent of all rated charities. For more information, please go to www.PHAssociation.org, @PHAssociation on Twitter or www.facebook.com/PulmonaryHypertensionAssociation.
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