How ASCs can ensure they're ready for cardiovascular procedures: 2 leaders share advice

ASCs are increasingly implementing cardiovascular procedures. Technological and clinical advancements, regulatory changes and potential cost savings are driving this migration. However, ASCs looking to implement these procedures must ensure they are prepared and consider the several financial and operational factors needed for success.

During an Oct. 14 session at the Becker's ASC Leadership Virtual Forum, two industry leaders discussed what ASCs must do to prepare themselves for cardiovascular procedures in 2021.

The panelists were:

  • Dawn Lacska-Tommerdahl, RN, FACHE, assistant vice president of primary care strategy at Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth

  • Tim Price, CEO of Cardiovascular Centers of America 

Below is an excerpt from the conversation, edited for clarity. To view the full session on demand, click here.

Question: What are some critical mistakes that ASCs could fall into, and then how could they prevent those from occurring?

Dawn Lacska-Tommerdahl: One is the type of equipment you get. There's two major players, but there's also other players. You can go to the more inexpensive side of the equipment, but be aware that there are risks involved with that. It's better to have a good contract with a high-quality company you know will provide service if you're down. The last thing you want if you have a catheterization laboratory is to have it down for any amount of time — much less days — so that is key. 

The second thing that is very critical is to hire high-quality staff and make sure that you take care of them, because they are hard to find. Cath lab staff is notoriously hard to lure away from a hospital and to keep on board when you're starting a cardiac ASC.

Tim Price: The regulatory landscape at the state level needs to be considered. The federal government and CMS are farther along than the states, and they are being friendly toward these procedures. You really have to look at state regulations and if they're changing yearly right now. That's something that you have to get very current on and make sure you work with a professional on that process. 

Just for example would be states like Georgia. Actually, in Atlanta, there's specific certificate-of-need laws that prevent coronary diagnostic procedures from happening anywhere but a hospital. I'd say those are outdated laws based on old recommendations from the American College of Cardiology that frankly should change. It just takes political process and will at the state level to get those laws updated.

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