|It is important to check with your insurance provider prior to making an appointment at a center. The HCMA does not endorse any particular program. To be listed as an HCM Center of Excellence, there are basic criteria the center must present to the HCMA to be recognized by the HCMA . If you are with a medical program that would like to be evaluated for possible addition to this list, please contact the HCMA at 973-983-7429 for more information.
Just as HCM is a variable condition, HCM Centers are also highly variable in services and experience level. Some programs have decades of experience, strong surgical programs, extensive publications in scientific literature, and teams of sub-specialists specifically dedicated to HCM and extensive outreach programs. Other programs may be newer, refer out for surgery, refer to sub-specialists who are not part of the HCM team, have limited scientific publications, and limited community outreach. All listed programs have the following services within or referral relationships that are deemed important to HCM care by the HCMA and our members:
- Cardiologist as Director/Lead of the program – In nearly all cases this is a physician with strong imaging experience including both echocardiogram and CMR/MRI.
- Electrophysiologist – for assessment and implantation/management of ICD’s (and pacemakers) as well as management of atrial fibrillation.
- Cardiac surgeon (or referral arrangement) – Surgery for HCM is still not a common procedure – the Guidelines recommend HIGH volume centers ONLY preform this procedure. In the HCMA’s experience, in 2014 High volume is best defined as 45+ surgeries per year by a single physician at a center. Some centers on this list have referral arrangements with higher volume programs.
- Interventional cardiology – This sub-specialty may be required to preform septal reduction therapy with an alcohol septal ablation.
- Pediatric cardiology – some centers have very robust pediatric programs – others have referral arrangements.
- Genetic services – Some programs have extremely strong genetic programs and others refer to sub-specialists.
- Psychological service – Most have referral arrangements.
- Diet and nutrition services – Most have referral arrangements.
- High quality imaging technicians – State of the Art echocardiogram and CMR/MRI services.
- Commitment to HCM research – each program has its own research interest; some have very robust programs, other more observational.
- The ability to see families and accommodate those traveling from a distance.
Some programs are run by cardiologists who specialize in cardiac imaging, which in the view of the HCMA, is the preferred sub-specialty to have. This does not mean, however, that programs run by other sub-specialties do not provide quality care or are not considered for HCMA recognition.
HCM programs performing high volumes of surgeries per year are preferred over programs performing infrequent surgeries. However, some programs refer to centers on a regular basis where high volumes surgeries are preformed, and this is taken into consideration during the evaluation process. The HCMA has conducted at least one site visit at each program and works in partnership with each program to ensure they are working to meet the needs of individuals and families.
Each program needs to be evaluated on its own merits and balanced against the needs of the individual patient or family. The HCMA offers these designations as a guide to assist you in choosing the program that best fits your needs.
The HCMA makes no guarantees about the services rendered within the center or the quality of care each individual will receive. Further, the HCMA does not advocate for substituting the care of a local cardiologist for the care at a Center of Excellence, but rather that your local cardiologist work in cooperation with the Center of Excellence to ensure you are receiving the highest quality of care possible.