ZWICKER, FREIMAN & REYNOLDS-JACKSON BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO ADULT DIAGNOSTIC CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION, PRIMARY ANGIOPLASTY, AND ELECTIVE ANGIOPLASTY SERVICES BECOMES LAW

There’s one fatality every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 persons.

People who are experiencing symptoms and choose to undergo an angioplasty procedure may alleviate those symptoms and prevent a more serious heart condition with this minimally invasive procedure. Expanding access to hospitals that can perform elective angioplasty safely will bolster the delivery of high-quality cardiac care for New Jersey residents.

Assembly members Andrew Zwicker, Roy Freiman (both Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (Mercer, Hunterdon) sponsored legislation (A-1176), signed into law on Monday, to do just that by requiring the NJ Department of Health to license certain qualifying hospitals to provide full-service adult diagnostic cardiac catheterization, primary angioplasty, and elective angioplasty services.

The goal is to provide more options for safe and elective cardiac care treatments for patients.

Sponsors of the new law issued the following statement:

“Heart disease can be a very treatable illness when the right health measures are able to be taken by a patient in consultation with their medical professional.

“Angioplasty saves lives every day, but far too often they are performed only in emergencies. Elective Angioplasty as a preventive measure can lessen symptoms, improve quality of life, and reduce mortality rates.

“Ensuring more medical centers are licensed for full-service elective angioplasty and its linked care will increase access to safe and preventative healthcare measures for residents combatting heart disease.”  

Coronary artery disease occurs when the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart muscle, become clogged or partially blocked by fatty deposits on the artery walls. Treatment for coronary artery disease will vary for different patients. Some may need medical procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, commonly known as angioplasty) or Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG).

Angioplasty reduces obstructions of fatty deposits in coronary arteries and has become an increasingly common treatment method. CABG surgery uses an artery or vein taken from another part of the body to divert blood around the clogged part of a patient’s artery or arteries. These procedures are typically preceded by a diagnostic cardiac catheterization.