Metro Health can now begin performing angioplasty on an elective basis after earning state approval.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a certificate of need for Metro Health to perform elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, to open clogged arteries and restore blood flow to the heart.
Metro Health previously was only allowed to perform the procedure on an emergency basis, when needed to save the life of a patient who was having a heart attack. Under a prior regulation that the state changed in 2015, the health system for years had to refer non-emergency patients to a hospital — usually Spectrum Health — that performed open heart surgery, in case a complication arose during the procedure.
The ability to perform angioplasty alleviates the inconvenience and frustration for both patients and physicians that often resulted from transfers to Spectrum.
“Being able to offer elective PCI to our patients without transferring them to other institutions is a win for patient care and something patients have asked for,” said Paul Kovack, a cardiologist at Metro Heart and Vascular. “This decision will help us keep patients in their medical home and provides choice to patients. Additionally, it will cut down on unnecessary duplicate testing, costly ambulance transfers and delays in care, making care more timely and less costly.”
The Michigan Certificate of Need Commission last year adopted an update standard that allows certain hospitals without an open-heart surgery program to perform elective PCI. Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Holland Hospital last spring received CON approval for elective PCI. Metro Health obtained its CON approval Oct. 3.
To earn CON approval to perform elective PCI without on-site surgical backup, a hospital must project it would perform a minimum of 200 procedures annually using data from the most recent 12-month period. A hospital also has to meet quality benchmarks.
Metro Health last year transferred 243 patients for an elective PCI. In addition, many patients elected not to go to Metro Health in the first place, knowing the hospital didn’t have the procedure. So the number of elective PCIs performed will likely be significantly higher than 243, according to Dan Witt, director of cardiovascular service at Metro Health.
Receiving state authority to perform elective PCI will round out Metro Health’s growing heart and vascular services, said CEO Mike Faas.
“This starts to fill the void in a service line that we could have done,” Faas said. “It will allow us to continue to grow a very valuable service for our patients.”