The New York State Department of Health AnnouncesTwo Major Initiatives to Expand Access to Cardiac Services

Six New Cardiac Health Care Programs Launching in the Hudson Valley

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2019)- The New York State Department of Healthtoday announcedthe first six providers to apply to operate cardiac programs under new regulations recommended by theongoing Regulatory Modernization Initiativeand adopted in September. The Department also announced additional regulations that the Public Health and Health Planning Council will consider at its December 12 meeting, which will increase accessand provide greater consumer choiceto cardiac surgery services.

The Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) will consider the six applications, all from providers in the Hudson Valley Region, at its upcoming meetings on November 21 and December 12.

The Department launched the Regulatory Modernization Initiative (RMI) process in 2017 to reform and streamline the policies and regulations governing the licensure and oversight of health care services and facilities. The changes announced today were recommended by the Cardiac Services RMI Workgroup, which included a national panel of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons as well as other medical practitioners, healthcare consumers and representatives of the health insurance industry.

"These changes recognize that, since the State's cardiac services regulations were first promulgated, significant advances in technology and medical practice have made cardiac procedures safer," said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "In addition, stand alone community hospitals are increasingly becoming part of integrated regional health care networks that are anchored by large academic medical centers. These regulatory changes and these projects support this transformation, which is increasing the potential for expanded access to quality cardiac care in more communities."

The six providers havesubmitted Certificate of Need (CON) applications to perform percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Also called angioplasty withastent, percutaneous coronary interventions are fairly common, non-surgical procedures that use a catheter to insert a small plastic stent into arteries that have been narrowed by the buildup of plaque. The stent opens the blood vessels and improves patients' heart health and function.The new regulations adopted by PHHPC in September and recommended by the Regulatory Modernization Initiative, updated the standards for facilities that perform these procedures, by reducing the number they are required to do, to qualify for an operating certificate. The change recognizes advances in medical technology making the procedure safer. It will allow for expansion of these services throughout the state.

The first six new programs to submit Certificate of Need applications will be in the Hudson Valley Region:

  • Health Alliance Hospital, Mary's Avenue Campus in Kingston, Ulster County
  • New York Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital inCortland Manor, Westchester County
  • NorthernDutchessHospital inRhinebeck,DutchessCounty
  • Northern Westchester Hospital inMountKisco, Westchester County
  • Nyack Hospital in Nyack, Rockland County
  • Putnam Hospital Center inCarmel, Putnam County

Additional new PCI labs are expected to submit CON applications to PHHPC in the coming months.

In addition, the Department is announcing that it will advance regulatory changes at the December 12 PHHPC meeting that will increase accessand provide greater consumer choiceto cardiac surgery services.The new regulations will make it easier for hospitals to obtain and retain operating certificates for cardiac surgery. This change is also based ontechnological and medicaladvancesthat have mademany procedures safer and is expected to increase opportunities for more hospitals to create cardiac surgery programs.