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Sunday, 30 October 2016 16:52

Metro Health pushes ahead with $6M vascular clinic

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Metro Health aims to open its new $6 million Vascular Institute by mid-2017. The facility remains under construction. Metro Health aims to open its new $6 million Vascular Institute by mid-2017. The facility remains under construction. Courtesy rendering by AMDG Architects

As final details come together for combining with the University of Michigan Health System, Metro Health is proceeding with development of a $6 million clinic to treat vascular disease.

The 34,395-square-foot, two-story clinic moves forward as Metro Health seeks to grow and elevate its heart and vascular services, which now includes performing an elective procedure to treat heart patients. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services this month 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.

“This is the beginning of crafting choice for the market, and obviously our pending big-stake partnership with the University of Michigan positions us to instill choice in the market once that is finalized — hopefully, in the very near future,” said Metro Health President and CEO Mike Faas. 

The outpatient vascular clinic designed by AMDG Architects Inc. is targeted to open in mid-2017. Work on the clinic by Pinnacle Construction Group Inc. began in the spring adjacent to the health system’s main hospital at the Metro Health Village campus in Wyoming. 

The clinic will treat peripheral vascular disease, the narrowing of blood vessels in the extremities, as well as varicose veins and wounds that have difficulty healing. The clinic will start with two labs and Metro Health aims to expand to four labs within two years, said Dan Witt, the health system’s director of cardiovascular services.

Metro’s vascular program has recorded substantial growth in recent years, even drawing patients nationally, following the hiring of Dr. Jihad Mustapha, who specializes in treating peripheral artery disease, unclogging blood vessels and restoring blood flow to the lower legs. Many patients have diabetes, which has a rising incidence rate, and face the prospect of amputation unless blood flow is restored.

“We have a pent-up demand of patients needing the service,” Witt said. “We’re getting older and we have diabetes at an epic proportion of the population.”

Metro Health is developing the Vascular Institute after forming a heart and vascular practice seven years ago. As the project proceeds, the health system is now performing elective angioplasty.

Metro Health previously was only allowed to perform the procedure on an emergency basis, or 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 that performed open-heart surgery — usually Spectrum Health — 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.

The Michigan Certificate of Need Commission last year updated its standard to allow certain hospitals without an open-heart surgery program to perform the procedure. 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 could not do the procedure, so the number of elective PCIs performed will likely be significantly higher than 243, Witt said.

Receiving state authority to perform the procedure will round out Metro Health’s growing heart and vascular services, Faas said.

“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. 

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