The state Senate and Assembly have introduced legislation to make it easier for independent hospitals to perform elective angioplasties on patients with heart disease and at high risk for a heart attack.
Senate Bill 2427 and related Assembly Bill 3769 would allow independent hospital systems to apply to the state Department of Health to perform elective angioplasties if they participated in the Atlantic Cardiovascular Patient Outcomes Research Team Elective Angioplasty Study. The research project, conducted by the American College of Cardiology, compared outcomes of angioplasties performed at hospitals that didn’t have on-site cardiology units with those that did.
Hospitals can also apply with the NJDOH if it meets the requirements set forth by the State Elective Angioplasty Demonstration Project. S2427 is sponsored by Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-19th District; A3769 is co-sponsored by Democratic Assemblymen from the 16th District, Andrew Zwicker and Roy Freiman.
Elective angioplasties represent a lucrative business for hospitals. Currently, only select hospitals with specialty cardiac units in New Jersey are deemed qualified to perform elective angioplasties. Most independent hospitals can typically perform angioplasties only on an emergency basis.
For years, independent hospitals such as CentraState Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center and Saint Peter’s University Hospital have said the regulations are unfair because medical technology and training have made them more routine.