By mid-spring, UPMC East Hospital anticipates offering elective angioplasty, a heart vessel clearing procedure that mostly had been available at Pennsylvania hospitals with heart surgery capability.
Dr. Suresh Mulukutla, director of interventional cardiology, said UPMC East would make application by the end of the month to offer the service through a new state Department of Health program. Under the program, hospitals without the surgical safety net are required to meet standards set by Washington, D.C.-based Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence.
The hospital has two cath labs and has offered emergency angioplasty since the facility opened in 2012. Mulukutla said a significant number of UPMC East patients have had to be transferred to downtown UPMC hospitals for the procedure, so the new capability will be a community benefit.
UPMC East is located less than two miles from Forbes Regional Hospital, which has offered open heart surgery and angioplasty for several years. Forbes Regional is part of Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network, a UPMC competitor.