The network now comprises 45 medical centers nationwide with expertise in diagnosing and treating PF. From Jan. 22 onwards, medical centers meeting PFF standards for patient care, teaching and research are invited to join the network.
Since 2013, the network has grown from nine sites to medical centers across the United States staffed with expert teams caring for and treating patients with fibrotic lung diseases.
Patients using a PFF care center can expect a robust evaluation and diagnosis, as well as recommendations for continuing care, help in getting essential social services, and access to information about upcoming research studies and clinical trials.
Teams at these centers are multidisciplinary, and include experts in pulmonary medicine, rheumatology, radiology and pathology.
Around 78 percent of patients in major U.S. metro areas live within two hours of a PFF care center, the Chicago-based PFF says in its strategic plan for 2020. The PFF hopes to increase this to at least 90 percent in two years.
More than 50,000 new cases of PF are diagnosed each year, and at least 200,000 Americans have the disease.
“As the leading advocate for patients with pulmonary fibrosis, we are facilitating much-needed access to the individualized and comprehensive care that is so critical to an improved quality of life for patients,” Gregory P. Cosgrove, the PFF’s chief medical officer, said in a press release. “Expansion of the Care Center Network will not only advance the quality of care and services for patients but also offer important support for their caregivers and loved ones.”
Other goals outlined by PFF for 2020 are to keep expanding the PFF Patient Registry, increase understanding of PF, improve diagnostics and treatments; speed up delivery of information and boost participation in PF research.