Press Statement on Elective Angioplasty in New Jersey

The legislature has a real opportunity to pass much needed legislation before the end of the session.

Carlos Marconi, St. Clare’s Health, 973.625.6393
David Harkness, Hunterdon Healthcare, 908.788.6359
Kelly Maer, Capital Health, 908.309.7888

New Jersey is the ONLY state in the nation that does not have regulations that would enable qualifying hospitals to conduct elective angioplasties, leaving New Jersey patients in SEVEN counties without access to the life-saving cardiac procedure at their community hospital. It is time lawmakers stop playing politics with their lives and pass S-2427/A-3769.

For Immediate Release—Long-overdue legislation (S2427/A3769) that would ensure the safety of patients seeking life-saving cardiac care at their qualifying community hospital is just one step away from clearing the legislature. Lawmakers should put politics aside in the best interest of these patients and send the bill to Governor Murphy for final approval before the session ends on January 14. Legislators will not be fulfilling their obligations to NJ citizens if they miss this opportunity to ensure access to life saving health care in New Jersey. It’s simply unfair to make New Jersey patients wait any longer.

A3769 passed by overwhelming bipartisan vote in two Assembly committees and on floor of Assembly. S2427 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate health committee. This legislation is supported by the NJ Department of Health, the Governor’s office, and all but one hospital in the State. Existing 11 hospitals that have been able to perform elective since 2005, will NO LONGER be able to provide this service, thereby increasing wait times at other facilities, transferring of patients out of state, and perilously putting patient lives at risk.

New Jersey is the ONLY state in the nation that does not have regulations to allow qualified hospitals to conduct elective angioplasties. The legislation would finally change this by permitting qualified hospitals without onsite cardiac surgery to apply for a license to perform elective angioplasty (a scheduled treatment that inserts a small metal mesh tube called a stent to restore life-saving blood flow to the heart). Numerous national studies have long ago concluded that conducting elective angioplasties at facilities without cardiac surgery is safe and common.

Because New Jersey lawmakers have failed to act, cardiac patients in seven New Jersey counties have been forced to travel to alternate facilities or out of state to receive this life-saving treatment. These patients face delays in care, potentially exposing them to additional risk and impacting their outcomes. They also may incur additional and significant transportation costs. Now it’s up to the Legislature to level the playing field for these patients and provide them with the quality, life-saving cardiac care close to home that they deserve.

Heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States, but access to immediate life-saving procedures in more local settings is just one factor that is reducing the number of deaths each year. Pass S-2427/A-3769 NOW!

“This important legislation will enable more providers to provide lifesaving treatment at more locations assuring timely access for more New Jerseyans. It simply makes no sense to force patients to wait and travel to receive an elective procedure when they can get it done safely closer to home.” Al Maghazehe, PhD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Capital Health

“It is time to provide parity to our patients and hospitals in New Jersey counties with limited or no local access to elective angioplasty. This crucial healthcare issue impacts the lives of thousands of patients and needs final resolution.” Patrick Gavin, President & CEO, Hunterdon Healthcare

“Physicians have performed emergency interventions at the Denville facility for the past 12 years with excellent results. Clearly, the time has come for Saint Clare’s and other New Jersey hospitals to be allowed to perform the procedure on an elective basis.” Dr. Paul DeRenzi, Medical Director for the cardiac catheterization lab, Saint Clare’s Hospital

About New Jersey Coalition of Community Hospitals

The New Jersey Coalition of Community Hospitals, advocates and educates public officials on the importance of providing personal, quality healthcare services in a neighborhood setting. The thousands of dedicated providers and employees in these facilities, continue to promote wellness, coordinated care, and a dedication to the general public on a daily basis, and are the cornerstone of healthcare delivery in New Jersey.

Hunterdon Healthcare
Capital Health Hospitals
St. Clare’s Health
CentraState Medical Center
St. Luke’s Hospital – Warren
St. Peter’s University Medical Center

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