OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health has added nine hospitals to the list of those that can do angioplasty. The decisions will expand patient choice and access to this care.
The elective heart procedures use balloons and stents to widen narrowed or blocked blood vessels.
The newly approved programs are at St. John Medical Center in Longview, Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Valley Medical Center in Renton, as well as St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way and Auburn Regional Medical Center. Auburn Regional and St. Francis submitted a joint application.
“This decision gives us more options for these lifesaving procedures,” said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky.
Until now, only hospitals that had heart surgery programs were allowed to do these less invasive procedures. In 2007, the Washington State Legislature directed the department to set standards to allow other hospitals to perform the procedures. The department adopted standards after getting extensive public input. It hired an outside firm to review approaches taken in other states and to make recommendations.
The new programs are the first approved under the new standards. All of the proposals met the new standards, which included a minimum of 300 projected procedures per year. All but St. John Medical Center were already authorized to do emergency angioplasties.
The decision adds nine hospitals to the 18 that have been doing elective procedures in Washington.
Additional information on the department’s decision is on its Certificate of Need Web site (http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/FSL/CertNeed/Decisions.htm).