Washington State Looking To Increase Opportunities For Heart Procedures - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Looking To Increase Opportunities For Heart Procedures

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - The State Department of Health is proposing new rules to allow more hospitals to do elective heart procedures.

Right now only hospitals with an open heart surgery program can do procedures like angioplasties and stents. The rules would make it possible for select hospitals without surgery programs to do the procedures. That may include Kennewick General and Yakima Memorial.

One rule states hospitals that can show enough need can be considered.

"When you do have more volumes and community sizes that can sustain a program, it makes good sense to get those services out to those communities" said Bart Eggen, WA State Dept. of Health, Health Professionals and Facilities.     

So far the rules are only a rough draft. The health department wants to know what people in Washington think, before it adopts the policy.

It will have a public hearing in Olympia on September 30th.

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