Heart :: Mayo Clinic heart transplant program receives Medicare Certification

Mayo Clinic in Arizona has received Medicare certification for heart transplantation, the highest quality indicator for a transplant program. Since the program opened in October 2005, Mayo surgeons have completed 24 heart transplants – exceeding the Medicare requirement that a transplant center perform 12 or more heart transplants over a 12-month period and have one-year survival rates of at least 73 percent.

Medicare certification is granted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and recognizes not only volumes and clinical outcomes, but the skill and professionalism of a program’s medical and surgical teams. Such teams include physicians with specializations in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, heart failure and ventricular assist devices, immunology, infectious diseases and the full range of allied staff support.

Certification means that Medicare patients can have access to heart transplantation at Mayo Clinic, because Mayo is recognized by the CMS as having the volume, survival, outcome and program standards for transplantation. This is significant for many patients, because Medicare certification removes a potentially daunting financial barrier that can prevent patients from being able to be listed for heart transplantation. The sooner a patient can be listed, the sooner he or she may qualify for heart transplantation. Mayo Clinic is the only medical center in Maricopa County performing heart transplants and now is the only Medicare-certified heart program as well.

The heart transplant program at Mayo is headed by Francisco Arabia, M.D., chair of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

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