Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Temple Heart Transplant Program Earns CMS Recognition

CENTRAL TEXAS – The heart transplant program at Scott & White Memorial Hospital – Temple reached a major milestone recently when it received certification from the Center for Medicare Services (CMS).

CMS issued the formal certification after conducting an onsite quality review of Scott & White’s program in January, in which procedures, care, standards and outcomes were evaluated. In addition to meeting CMS's quality standards, the certification allows Scott & White to receive Medicare reimbursement for heart transplants.

The certification was awarded without any condition of participation deficiencies, meaning the CMS review found no issues that would prevent Scott & White’s heart transplant program from receiving certification.

"To receive Medicare approval without any condition of participation deficiency is a significant accomplishment for any heart transplant program. However, this is noteworthy considering our program is just over two years old," said Enrique Gongora, MD, director of thoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at Scott & White. "It's a direct reflection of the commitment to excellence shared by everyone in our program."

The transplant program requested a CMS review in May 2011, following Scott & White’s 10th heart transplant. Scott & White performed its first transplant in March 2010.  CMS requires a program perform 10 transplants before requesting review. A total of 20 transplants had been performed by the time CMS conducted its site visit; the total number of transplants for the program now stands at 21. 

"This is a significant milestone in our advanced heart failure program," said Nandini Nair, MD, PhD, medical director, advanced heart failure/mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation at Scott & White. "We now offer a full spectrum of care within the Scott & White System from pre-transplant, to surgical care, to post-transplant and we have some of the shortest recipient wait times in the state of Texas (four months on average)."

Part of Scott & White’s cardiac services includes the use of technology to assist patients while they are waiting for a new heart. Some patients are too sick to wait on the transplant list for a heart.  In those cases, surgeons can implant a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to help bridge the patient to a heart transplant.

Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Temple also recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ as a hospital performing Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) as a destination therapy. This means the program demonstrated compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification recognizes Scott & White Memorial Hospital – Temple’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. Scott & White underwent a rigorous on-site survey by a Joint Commission surveyor who evaluated its VAD Program for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management.

For more information on the Scott & White heart transplant team, visit:

About Scott & White Healthcare (
Scott & White Healthcare is a non-profit collaborative health care system established in 1897 in Temple, Texas.  Among the leading health care systems encompassing one of the nation's largest multi-specialty group practices, Scott & White provides personalized, comprehensive and the highest quality health care enhanced by medical education and research.  Scott & White Healthcare includes 12 hospital sites, two additional announced facilities, more than 65 clinic locations throughout Central Texas and staff exceeding 13,000 (including more than 900 physicians and scientists and more than 400 specialized health care providers). Get the latest news from Scott & White Healthcare by visiting our online newsroom, News blog or on Twitter (@swhealthcare).

Scott & White, A World of Healing

For more information, contact:

Katherine Voss
Media and Public Relations
Scott & White Healthcare

May 1, 2012

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