Protect Vibrant Healthcare in Yakima.
Protect the Heart Care You Trust.
Today, our local residents are blessed to have two vibrant, strong hospitals right here close to home. This is because over the years, each hospital has created – and nurtured – distinct "centers of excellence" around specific medical specialties, so patients don't have to travel for sophisticated medical care.
But, this reality is now in danger. Here's why…
Yakima Regional is proud to be the region's only full-service cardiac provider with a complete spectrum of cardiology services, including open heart surgery and a 24/7 heart team. An important part of our ability to provide comprehensive services is a procedure called elective angioplasty or "PCIs.”
Although state data clearly shows that our community cannot support more than one hospital offering elective PCIs, this summer, Yakima Memorial Hospital has applied for a Certificate of Need (CON) to offer this procedure.
Duplicating these services at two hospitals would split the number of patients at each hospital so low that it could significantly impact:
- Quality of care for patients, and
- Regional's financial ability to continue investing in the full-service cardiac center this community depends on.
If Memorial is awarded the CON for elective PCIs, this could cripple Regional's ability to continue certain services, may affect jobs and could force patients to leave our community for the care we have in Yakima today.
On the surface, this is a debate about cardiac care. But, look closer and you'll see it's about much more – it's about preserving the choice of two strong hospitals that offer quality patient care to our community.
Questions & Answers
Q. What exactly is an elective angioplasty or "PCI"?
This procedure inserts a small balloon in clogged arteries to restore blood flow and prevent a heart attack. Yakima Regional has offered this procedure for more than a decade.
Last year, our clinical teams were able to achieve an average door-to-balloon time – which is the measure from the time the patient comes to the hospital until their coronary artery is opened in the cath lab – of 57 minutes. Compare that to the national standard for door-to-balloon time at 90 minutes or less. We are very proud of these kinds of extraordinary results.
Q. Why does the state of Washington decide which hospitals get to offer which services?
Our State Department of Health decides which hospitals get to offer which services because healthcare quality is tied to volume – i.e., the more you perform a service, the better you are at it.
A community the size of Yakima cannot support duplicative services, such as certain cardiac procedures, in a way that yields high enough volume for either program to assure high quality – and safety – of patient care.
Q. What's the timeline of the decision process?
Memorial has filed its CON application with the State Department of Health. There is a 90-day review period for public comment and the Department of Health's review of the application. The public comment period has ended and we expect a decision to be made in the Fall. We will be sure to update this website as dates become more concrete.