Atlanta, Ga. (February 3, 2014) – All Medicare patients now have access to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s heart transplant services due to certification received recently from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“This is important for Medicare patients who need to have medications covered for the rest of their lives after a heart transplant,” said David Dean, M.D., heart transplant surgeon at Piedmont Atlanta. “This certification, which we received after CMS conducted an onsite quality review of our program in November, was the final stamp of approval required before CMS patients could access our services.”
CMS is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and is responsible for overseeing and administering several health care programs. As part of the CMS certification process, hospitals must meet stringent standards of care and the agency obtains outcome data from the United Network for Organ Sharing and conducts a site visit as well.
“Piedmont has a successful history of organ transplantation and is certified by CMS for kidney, liver and pancreas transplantation as well,” said Mark Johnson, M.D., Piedmont Transplant. “Piedmont Atlanta has expanded the transplant program with its most recent CMS certification for heart transplant. To date, 14 heart transplants have been performed at Piedmont.”
As of today, 3,753 people across the United States are waiting list candidates for a heart transplant, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 62 are Georgia residents. One of the goals of the heart transplant program at Piedmont Atlanta is to keep as many donor hearts in Georgia as possible, as nearly 300 were given to transplant recipients in other states over the last decade.