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How Does a Program Become an HCMA Recognized Center of Excellence?

The HCMA does not seek out programs for approval.  Instead, programs that have already been established contact the HCMA for an application.  The director of the program typically files the application, which contains several parts:

  • Basic information about center such as location, phone numbers, contact people
  • Services offered by the program as well as referral arrangements
  • Research interests
  • Key team members
  • Disclosures (If any team members have conducted industry funded research)
We also request several attachments such as:
  • Curriculum Vitae for all physicians and key members working within the program
  • Recent articles and abstracts about HCM that were published by the center and/or participating physicians
  • A list of IRB approved research programs
  • The program’s business plan to ensure that the program is sustainable
Once the completed application and all attachments have been received, a site visit is scheduled.  Lisa Salberg, the HCMA’s Founder and CEO, personally visits each location and speaks with every team member from the director, surgeons, and physicians to the person charged with scheduling appointments to make sure the program is patient-centered and runs efficiently.  Specifically, each center is evaluated to make sure:
  1. All team members are knowledgeable about HCM
  2. The support staff is sufficient to create a responsive, patient-centered environment
  3. A high volume of HCM patients are/have been seen at the location
  4. The program has the support of the institution, which will allow it to maintain appropriate staff and funding, and provide medical and patient education to the surrounding community

Following the site visit, all materials and notes are reviewed, a recommendation is written, and the findings are presented to the HCMA’s Board of Directors.  Once the program has been approved as an HCMA Recognized Center of Excellence, the name and contact information of the program is listed in the HCMA’s online directory.  HCMA Recognized Centers of Excellence are expected to maintain communication with the HCMA by submitting updates and reports on a yearly basis (or when something changes).  They must also conduct community education once every three years.  If the program does not comply, or if a major structural change occurs within the program, the center may be delisted.
 
What does it mean if a center is delisted?

As previously mentioned, when a center is recognized by the HCMA as a Center of Excellence, they are “listed” in our directory.  When we say a center has been “delisted,” it means that they have been removed from our list of HCMA Recognized Centers of Excellence.  This does not necessarily mean that the Program is bad or that they offer poor services.  What it does mean is that the HCMA noticed significant changes within the Program and that it needs to be re-evaluated to ensure it still offers the high quality of expertise and responsiveness that you should expect from a Center of Excellence.

If there is a problem or change with a Center of Excellence, how does the HCMA find out?

Usually, we find out about changes in a program when we request annual reports and updates from the centers.  Other times, we find out from clients that their experience was not what they would expect from a Center of Excellence.  We take these reports seriously and do our best to either facilitate communication with the center or to help the center remedy the issue.

If I am having trouble at a Center of Excellence (Can’t get in touch with the center, can’t get an appointment, questionable care, etc.), what can I do?

If you are disappointed with the care you receive at an HCMA Recognized Center of Excellence, you can inform the HCMA at support@4hcm.org or call the office at 973-983-7870.  Every program does its absolute best to offer the highest quality of care to HCM patients.  We work closely with each of these programs to identify potential issues and help them meet their goals of providing the best outcomes for patients across the country.
 

To find an HCMA Recognized Center of Excellence near you, visit use the search bar located on the homepage of the HCMA’s website, www.4hcm.org.