Expanded cardiac diagnostic procedures provide increased access to care.
CentraState Medical Center, an Atlantic Health System partner, has received licensing approval by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to perform elective coronary angioplasty/elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a lifesaving non-surgical procedure used to treat narrowed arteries of the heart found in heart disease. This minimally invasive treatment is a safe and effective procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries and restore blood flow to heart tissue, without requiring open-heart surgery.
“Elective angioplasty at CentraState is a significant advancement for the communities we serve,” says Thomas W. Scott, FACHE, FABC, President and CEO of CentraState Healthcare System. “It enables those with cardiac disease to receive a life-saving treatment close to home by a team of experienced cardiologists and clinicians dedicated to best practices and advancements in their fields.”
CentraState has been working toward this designation for more than a decade by informing New Jersey legislators and other stakeholders about the importance of offering this procedure to patients with heart disease. In February 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law legislation sponsored by state Sen. Vin Gopal and state Sen. Joseph Vitale allowing CentraState and other qualified facilities to apply for licensing approval to perform elective angioplasty.
Angioplasty is a procedure in which a small balloon is inserted to open a blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart. A heart attack can occur if the blood flow becomes completely blocked. A stent is usually put in place as well, to help prevent the artery from becoming blocked again in the future.
“Elective angioplasty is an important tool in treating cardiovascular disease, says Jatinchandra Patel, DO, Medical Director of CentraState’s Cardiovascular Interventional Laboratory. “The majority of patients recover quickly and experience immediate improvement in symptoms. Most go home the same day and can resume normal activities within a week.”
In March 2022, CentraState opened a state-of-the-art cardiac suite Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Suite with three catheterization labs to centralize cardiac catheterization, endovascular, and interventional radiology services while adding capacity to serve a greater number of patients. Later that year, CentraState received approval from the NJDOH to perform emergency angioplasty for patients experiencing a heart attack. The ability to perform emergency PCI locally in Freehold significantly improved time to treatment allowing patients who showed signs of a heart attack to get immediate care at CentraState. The newly obtained license to perform elective angioplasty enables CentraState cardiologists to perform diagnostic testing, and if needed, necessary treatment during one visit.
“CentraState has demonstrated the ability to safely perform diagnostic cardiac catheterization and emergency angioplasty. Now we can perform elective angioplasty to better serve patients with cardiac disease close to home,” said Chief Medical Officer James Matera, DO.
“Elective angioplasty is a key component in our continuous efforts to expand access to care for the communities we serve,” added Scott.