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December 13, 2013

CVPH plans to end cardiac surgeries

Would move program to Fletcher Allen Health Care if state approves

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

“So to establish CVPH as a Northern New York site for cardiac interventions will bring those patients that had bypassed us to CVPH for those procedures,” she said.

ACADEMIC HOSPITAL

Moving Plattsburgh’s cardiac surgeries to Fletcher Allen also makes sense, Donahue said, because Fletcher Allen is an academic medical center, so the surgeries are performed there more frequently.

“If we’re not doing it all the time, if we don’t have the volumes, then we can’t be at the highest quality,” she said.

TOP-RANKED PROGRAM

“The interventional is something we’re very good at,” added Michele Powers, director of communications and marketing at CVPH.

In fact, the hospital’s angioplasty program has ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation for the past three years and among the top 10 percent for the past seven years.

CVPH performed an average of 1,200 angioplasty and cardiac electrophysiology procedures per year between 2009 and 2012, according to Powers, and is on track to meet or surpass that number by the end of 2013.

And under the proposed arrangement, Donahue expects CVPH would receive an additional 150 to 200 angioplasty cases annually.

FEWER HEART SURGERIES

However, Powers noted, over the last four years, CVPH has performed an average of 125 cardiac surgeries per year, with the high during that time being 138 in one year.

This year, she said, will be the low.

“The Department of Health likes to see that you at least do 100 surgeries, and it’s going to be very difficult for us to reach 100 this year,” Donahue said.

ALICE HYDE SUPPORTIVE

At Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, medical staff will continue to determine where to send cardiac patients based on what facility can best meet their needs on an immediate basis, according to CEO Doug DiVello.

However, he noted, his institution supports CVPH’s plan and feels it makes sense for the Plattsburgh hospital to position itself to perform more interventional procedures, as doing so will improve quality.

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