Study results published in ATS Journal show broad diversity among treatment facilities qualifying for Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center (PHCC) accreditation. Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) PHCC accreditation is based on meeting key measures of care for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients as established by a committee comprising U.S. clinical specialists. These criteria include adherence to expert consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of PAH, scope of PH-related services provided and expertise of sites’ PH care team members.
The study, conducted by PHA Director of Medical Services Michael Patrick Gray and members of PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), was an analysis of the 34 facilities – 30 adult sites and four pediatric centers – that received PHA’s PHCC Center of Comprehensive Care (CCC) designation during the first year of the accreditation program. It found that while all first-year sites adhered to the accreditation standards, they also represented wide-ranging diversity from practice setting to structure to types of resources available. All accredited centers treat patients diagnosed with two forms of PH, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Some differences, as noted in the abstract, were:
Also of note, an analysis of patients’ records found that while some centers recorded sleep apnea test results, a component of many PH diagnostic guidelines, this was not as consistent as other tests among accredited centers.
The study results were presented in an abstract at last year’s American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference. The PHCC accredited centers participating in the PHA Registry will present two abstracts at the 2017 ATS Conference, May 19-24, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Since launching the accreditation program in September 2014 on the heels of a successful pilot, PHA has designated 41 adult and six pediatric sites as CCCs. In September 2015, the PHCC program instituted the PHA Registry (PHAR) to measure improvements in the quality of PH patient care. The first 16 CCCs to participate in the PHAR, now available on a voluntary basis to all CCCs, have already enrolled more than 210 patients. PHAR sites collect and enter patient-reported outcomes, including two health-related quality-of-life surveys, as well as data such as patients’ exact diagnosis and hospitalization rates.
This year, PHA will begin awarding accreditation to qualifying PH Regional Clinical Programs (RCPs).
“It’s a day-to-day struggle, but I can’t wait to live my life. PH motivates me. It doesn’t stop me.” – Elisa Lipnick
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