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DESIGNATED HYPERTENSION CENTERS

The ASH Board of Directors launched a new initiative in July 2011 for ASH Designated Hypertension Centers to assist patients who have difficult-to-treat hypertension and those health care providers treating them. This Program provides for a formal recognition by the American Society of Hypertension for medical practices that have demonstrated expertise in treating patients with complex hypertension and its co-morbidities. The Program-focused on enhancing hypertension patient care-is designed to evaluate each medical practice against a professional set of criteria based upon responses to a questionnaire and site visit of hypertension experts.

Click here to download the application for Hypertension Practice Center.

Click here to download the application for Comprehensive Hypertension Center.

Please see below for criteria to become an ASH Designated Practice or Comprehensive Hypertension Center.

This program is the outcome of a Steering Committee chaired by Dr. John B. Kostis, with Drs. Jerry G. Back, George L. Bakris, Joseph A. Diamond, Brent M. Egan, Thomas D. Giles, C. Venkata Ram, Gary L. Schwartz, and William B. White serving as Task Force Members.

ROLE & FUNCTION OF ASH DESIGNATED HYPERTENSION CENTERS PROGRAM

Patient Perspective:

  • Provide patients with access to centers focused on treating complex hypertension and its co-morbidities
  • Provide patients with confidence that the centers can provide the most effective treatment strategies based on current translational, evidence-based research in hypertension
  • Provide patients with assurance that the center has been vetted and is recognized by the American Society of Hypertension, Inc., based on professional evaluation criteria

Health Care Provider Perspective:

  • Promote and recognize the role and function of those physicians who have achieved the designation as Specialists in Clinical Hypertension
  • Provide a referral source for non hypertension specialist physicians, and other health care providers treating patients with resistant hypertension and its co-morbidities
  • Establish a national coordinating network of ASH Designated Hypertension Centers for physician and other health care provider access
  • Establish a pathway for appropriate reimbursement for those health care professionals treating patients with resistant hypertension and its co-morbidities
  • Provide direct access to ASH-sponsored live and online educational activities

Clinical Research and Training Perspective:

  • Provide centers with the opportunity to participate in hypertension clinical research studies, particularly the ASH National Hypertension Registry Initiative
  • Serve as an impetus to expand hypertension training programs at all levels
  • Utilize the outcomes of these studies to develop needs assessments for hypertension health care providers and develop appropriate educational activities

Insurance Providers and Payor Perspective:

  • Establishes collaborative & educational liaison with payors
  • Provides standardized criteria for a hypertension specialty practice
  • Provides information on effective treatment strategies and protocols

ASH DESIGNATED HYPERTENSION CENTERS CRITERIA

Hypertension Centers will be accredited at two (2) levels, "Hypertension Practice Center" and "Hypertension Comprehensive Center", with the "Comprehensive Hypertension Center" encompassing research and education. One over-arching criterion for accreditation of a Hypertension Center is that the facility will be directed by a physician who has received designation as a Hypertension Specialist by the Hypertension Specialist Program of ASH.

ASH COMPREHENSIVE HYPERTENSION CENTERS

These Centers are located in either academic medical centers or in large multi-specialty clinics. These centers may exist independently or as part of larger divisions or departments.

  • Director must be an ASH Designated Specialist in Clinical Hypertension
  • More than 50 % of practice must be devoted to patients with hypertension and related disorders
  • Personnel are certified in recording blood pressure and in maintaining equipment for both the Center and self-monitoring for patients
  • Performs and interprets 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure recording
  • Facilities to perform extensive multi-specialty examination and treatment to assess complicated hypertension problems:

Cardiovascular risk assessment:

  • quantitative echocardiography
  • exercise testing
  • measurement of arterial compliance
  • ankle-brachial index
  • carotid doppler

Diagnostic Evaluation:

  • Renal angiography
  • Renal vein renin sampling
  • Doppler renal ultrasound
  • CT Angiography
  • MR Angiography
  • Adrenal vein sampling for Aldosterone

Interventions:

  • Renal angioplasty with/without stenting
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy
  • Participation in investigator-initiated research and/or in appropriate multi-center trials and observational studies
  • Recognition as referral and treatment resource for resistant and secondary hypertension, and alternative therapies.
  • Performs ongoing quality improvement in accord with standardized quality performance guidelines, reporting of NCQA indicators, patient outcomes, etc. NOTE: ASH Designated Hypertension Centers have the options of collecting and reporting this data, or the data could be captured by a Center's participation in the ASH Hypertension Registry Initiative.
  • Personnel participate in ongoing hypertension educational activities
  • Director must hold an academic appointment
  • Organized as a hypertension center by the parent organization, encouraging collaboration with other disciplines, e.g., nephrology, cardiology, etc.
  • Personnel participation in investigator-initiated research, both basic and applied
  • Personnel participation in the training of those interested in hypertension as a specialty
  • Personnel participation in the publication of scholarly articles related to the field of hypertension and related disorders

ASH DESIGNATED HYPERTENSION PRACTICE CENTERS

These Centers are either private or group medical practices.

  • Director must be an ASH Designated Specialist in Clinical Hypertension
  • More than 50 % of practice must be devoted to patients with hypertension and related disorders
  • Personnel are certified in recording blood pressure and in maintaining equipment for both the Center and self-monitoring for patients
  • Performs and interprets 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure recording
  • Access to extensive multi-specialty examination and treatment to assess complicated hypertension problems:

Cardiovascular risk assessment:

  • quantitative echocardiography
  • exercise testing
  • measurement of arterial compliance
  • ankle-brachial index
  • carotid doppler

Diagnostic Evaluation:

  • Renal angiography
  • Renal vein renin sampling
  • Doppler renal ultrasound
  • CT Angiography
  • MR Angiography
  • Adrenal vein sampling for Aldosterone

Interventions:

  • Renal angioplasty with/without stenting
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy
  • Participation in investigator-initiated research and/or in appropriate multi-center trials and observational studies
  • Recognition as referral and treatment resource for resistant and secondary hypertension, and alternative therapies.
  • Performs ongoing quality improvement in accord with standardized quality performance guidelines, reporting of NCQA indicators, patient outcomes, etc. NOTE: ASH Designated Hypertension Centers have the options of collecting and reporting this data, or the data could be captured by a Center's participation in the ASH Hypertension Registry Initiative.
  • Personnel participate in ongoing hypertension educational activities

BENEFITS FOR AN ASH DESIGNATED HYPERTENSION CENTER

  • Given the recent approval of the Hypertension Taxonomy Code by the AMA scheduled to take effect October 2011, Hypertension Specialists in ASH Designated Centers will be able to bill Third Party Payers for reimbursement of appropriate Hypertension Services
  • Presentation of a plaque and decals confirming designation
  • Listing in national roster of ASH Designated Hypertension Centers on the ASH Website
  • Opportunity to participate in clinical hypertension research
  • ASH to provide Patient Information brochures & educational material related to hypertension and its co-morbidities
  • ASH promotion and marketing of Designated Centers to facilitate expansion and strengthening of patient base and referrals.