How cardiologists can adapt and thrive in ASCs


Shifting to an outpatient-based setting can be a daunting idea for cardiologists, but finding a well-equipped ASC can help surgeons succeed, according to James Stidham, president of Healthcare Management Associates.

He told Becker's ASC Review what cardiologists looking at outpatient surgery need.

Note: Response was edited for style.

Question: What do cardiologists and heart surgeons need to thrive in the outpatient setting today?

Mr. James Stidham: The challenges facing interventional cardiologists is the shift from a hospital-based practice to outpatient based. The recent position of CMS to begin paying for percutaneous coronary interventions in addition to rhythm and coronary diagnostic catheterization has caused the market to expand. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions position paper of 2012, 2018 2020 and 2021 developed standards for the transition to freestanding facilities have opened the door to the paradigm shift in the interventional treatment of heart disease.

To adapt to this change, the cardiologist needs to investigate a freestanding surgery center offering high-quality equipment with a well-trained staff. Surgical subspecialists have known for decades an ASC can positively impact their practices, from increased productivity and predictability of scheduling. As well as increased patient satisfaction and savings.

Certificate of need states have various regulations and roadblocks to prevent an expansion of these services. However, those states without CON have seen the movement to percutaneous coronary interventions being performed in this new environment. For some practices, the development of an office-based catheterization lab will serve as an entry point into patient centric cardiac procedures.

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