MANCHESTER — The Office of Health Strategy will hear Manchester Memorial Hospital’s appeal of the application denial to establish a cardiac catheterization lab and angioplasty services.
The hearing of oral arguments will take place July 25 at 1:30 p.m. in the second floor hearing room of the Office of Health Strategy, 450 Capitol Ave., Hartford.
On June 10, the state denied the hospital’s application, which was to be a partnership with St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute, saying there wasn’t a clear public need for the cardiac program.
Since the decision was rendered, hospital officials and a bipartisan group of state and local officials have said it unfairly deprives residents east of the Connecticut River of access to timely and potentially life-saving care, as well as convenient access to elective cardiac services.
According to a notice detailing the date and time of the hearing on OHS’ website, officials from the hospital’s parent company, Prospect ECHN, and their legal counsel, will have 15 minutes to make their argument and if they wish to file briefs they must do so by July 19.
In addition to scheduling the hearing, OHS also reopened the application’s public hearing record to collect additional evidence from the hospital related to primary percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, which is a non-surgical procedure to open narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart in an emergency situation.
In its denial of the hospital’s application, the state said there already are two hospitals that provide emergency cardiac services within 10 miles of Manchester Memorial Hospital, St. Francis and Hartford Hospital, both in Hartford.
The state also said Manchester Memorial already is operating well within national standards for intervention that ideally would be a maximum of 120 minutes.
The state said that between 2015 and 2017, the average time for primary PCI patients transferred from Prospect ECHN hospital emergency departments was 108 minutes.
In its application, however, the hospital said 19 patients experienced intervention times greater than 120 minutes during that span.
In its request for further evidence relative to primary PCI, the state asked the hospital to provide further detail on the circumstances of those 19 cases, including the manner in which the patient was transported to the hospital, and a detailed timeline of the event from start to finish.
Additionally, the state is asking for information on each patient between 2015 and 2017 who exceeded the recommended 30-minute maximum “door-in-door-out” time for the transfer of primary PCI patients to primary PCI-capable hospitals.
In 2015, 2016, and 2017, the average door-in-door-out time for Prospect ECHN primary PCI transfers to St. Francis was 63.8 minutes, 58.2 minutes, and 43 minutes, respectively.
One of the protests coming from Prospect ECHN officials and other supporters since the state’s denial has been the amount of traffic on Interstate 84, which is often gridlocked.
The state has asked the hospital to provide crash data affecting EMS transport within the hospital’s service area between 2015 and 2018, and to indicate which of those events involved a patient experiencing a heart attack coming from Manchester Memorial.
The state has asked the hospital to provide the number of advanced emergency life support vehicles and basic life support vehicles equipped with 12-lead electrocardiograms within its service area, and what if any efforts Prospect ECHN is making to bolster emergency medical services in the area.
The state also has asked the hospital to explain a seeming disparity in its 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment.
While the report identifies cancer and cardiovascular disease as the leading causes of death in the community, conditions related to those diseases aren’t at the top of the list of community health needs, the state says.
Prospect ECHN spokeswoman Nina Kruse said Friday that ECHN “expects to respond to all information requests from OHS for the scheduled appeal hearing.”
This story first appeared July 1, 2019, in the Journal Enquirer | by Will Healey