A new California law that took effect this year changed state regulations to allow more California hospitals to perform catheter-based cardiac diagnostic and treatment procedures.
The policy shifts could cut miles and hours off cardiac patients’ drive time in rural parts of the state and could mean expanded services and revenues for regional and rural hospitals.
Last year’s bill calling for the new regulations – SB 906 by Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) – came relatively late in the national trend toward allowing more hospitals to perform angioplasty and stent procedures.
Depending on the source, California is either the 45th or the 48th state to change the rules governing elective percutaneous coronary intervention, known as PCI – a nonsurgical technique to treat obstructive coronary artery disease. Procedures include coronary angioplasty, as well as the placement of arterial stents.