For Referring Physicians

Our multidisciplinary team of experts – including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists and social workers – works closely with referring physicians, and can assist in the management of patients with risk factors for heart failure, as well as patients with mild, moderate or advanced stage disease.

Once the referring physician contacts our team, the patient is scheduled in our outpatient clinic within two to three weeks of the original referral. The program offers a weekly clinic, enabling patients to see all necessary specialists – including cardiologists and surgeons – in one visit. After evaluating the patient, shared management guidelines are developed, and the care plan is communicated to the referring physician. Early referral to the program is encouraged, as we are often able to delay the disease progression by using state-of-the-art approved treatments or enrolling patients in experimental pharmacological and device trials that are not available at other local centers.

Although there are established criteria for heart transplant candidacy, UCSF has few absolute contraindications. Because UCSF is an academic medical center, the program has greater access to organs as well as novel devices, so fewer patients are ruled out. In addition, with the possibility of performing simultaneous transplantation of the heart and kidney, far more patients become eligible to receive a transplanted heart.

The Mechanical Circulatory Support program offers ventricular assist devices for every patient, whatever their age, size or gender. The following list represents the devices currently available:

  • Short term mechanical support: Abiomed Impella 2.5L, 5.0L, CP and RP (right heart support), CentriMag and Extracorporeal  Life Support (ie.ECMO).
  • Long term mechanical support: Abbott HeartMate II and III Left Ventricular Assist Devices, Medtronic HeartWare HVAD System.

The Pulmonary Hypertension program offers established and novel therapies. The following list represents the therapies currently available:

  • Oral endothelin receptor antagonists: ambrisentan (Letairis®),  macitentan (Opsumit ®) bosentan (Tracleer®).
  • Oral phosphodiesterase inhibitors: sildenafil (Revatio®), tadalafil (Adcirca®).
  • Oral soluable guanyl cyclase activator: riociguat (Adempas®).
  • Oral prostacyclin receptor stimulator: selexipag (Uptravi®)
  • Oral prostacyclin analog:  treprostinil (Orenitram ®)
  • Inhalational prostanoids: iloprost (Ventavis®), treprostinil (Tyvaso®).
  • Subcutaneously-delivered prostanoid: treprostinil (Remodulin®).
  • Intravenously-delivered prostanoids: epoprostenol (Flolan®, Veletri®), treprostinil (Remodulin®).
  • Percutaneous graded blade-balloon atrial septostomy
  • Lung transplantation.

To contact the cell phone of the cardiology physician on service , please call (415) 514-8866.

To contact the Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension programs, please call (415) 353-9088.

To contact the Advanced Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, and Mechanical Circulatory Support programs, please call (415) 353-4145 (option 1).