C-O-E stands for Center of Excellence, but what is that?
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.
Generally speaking, a Center of Excellence, is a team of people that promotes collaboration and uses best practices around a specific focus area to create positive outcomes for patients. Many hospitals and clinics have Centers of Excellence for numerous disease states such as Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer's, etc. CoEs also exist for treating patients with HCM.
To qualify as an HCMA Recognized Center of Excellence, a program must provide high-quality care to patients with HCM in accordance with guidelines and be dedicated to treatment and research in the area of HCM.
All recognized Centers have been evaluated by the HCMA in the following areas:
- Volume of care
- Quality of research
- Patient communication and responsiveness
- Patient and Medical Education
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.
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 of surgeries are performed, 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.
At the time the HCMA was founded, HCM care was limited to four or five programs in the US. Today, the HCMA has recognized over 40 HCM Centers of Excellence all across the country.
Learn more about becoming a recognized center of excellence
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 or click on the link below to schedule an appointment with our COE Coordinator.