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Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018

Diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization services move from Indian Path to Holston Valley

Medical cardiology services and outpatient cardiology clinic to remain open at Indian Path

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – As Holston Valley Medical Center and Indian Path Medical Center begin working collaboratively to care for the residents of Kingsport and surrounding areas, the hospitals have begun the process of integrating all Kingsport-based invasive and advanced cardiology services to Holston Valley Medical Center. Preparation for the transition began several weeks ago, and the state of Tennessee in September granted final approval to formalize the move.

“The change is a natural evolution of cardiac services in Kingsport,” said Monty McLaurin, president of Ballad Health’s northwest market. “With our two hospitals operating just 3 miles apart, we now have the opportunity to work in collaboration with each other to customize services to best fit the needs of our community.”

“This decision reflects Ballad Health’s broader vision to create specialized networks of healthcare services that better meet patients’ needs across the region,” said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Ballad Health. “Studies have shown that concentrating services in one location improves the quality and outcomes for patients because it allows physicians and nurses to perform more of the same procedures. Given the level and volume of heart care service we provide at Holston Valley, this is a decision that makes good sense.”

The move applies only to invasive cardiac procedures performed inside the hospitals. Outpatient cardiology services at Indian Path Medical Center are unaffected, so patients of Dr. Robert McQueen and Dr. Michael Ponder will be able to continue outpatient office visits in the same location they presently use. Inpatients at Indian Path Medical Center who need medical cardiology services will continue to be able to access those services at Indian Path Medical Center.

No jobs were impacted by the change. Team members are making the move to care for patients in the most appropriate setting. Additional information about the rationale behind the move is offered below:

  • Holston Valley’s five cardiac catheterization labs already perform more than 90% of the cath lab procedures in Kingsport.
  • Holston Valley offers a wide array of highly sophisticated cardiac services and procedures, with robust technology and a large staff of specialized physicians and team members who are well-equipped to care for patients undergoing catheterization who may need higher acuity interventional services.
  • Longtime cardiologists Dr. Robert McQueen and Dr. Michael Ponder will maintain their outpatient office at Indian Path for patients under their care, and Indian Path will continue to be equipped for inpatient cardiac consults. Dr. McQueen will now perform interventional heart procedures at Holston Valley.

Holston Valley holds many accolades for cardiac care and cardiovascular research, including: 

  • No. 1 in the nation in interventional carotid care (2017 by CareChex)
  • Top 10% of hospitals nationally for medical excellence in cardiac care and heart attack treatment (2017 by CareChex)
  • Gold-level recognition from the American Heart Association for heart attack treatment (2018)
  • Platinum-level recognition from the American College of Cardiology for heart attack treatment quality measures (2018)
  • Leader in cardiovascular research and training, with annual visits from Harvard fellows who come to learn the techniques offered by Holston Valley’s prominent surgeons.

While changes to certain services in Kingsport were pre-approved by the state of Tennessee in the Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA), this is the only change that has been approved and finalized by the Ballad Health board of directors at this time. We are working with physicians, team members and other key stakeholders to evaluate other services, and will keep the community and our patients informed as future decisions are made.

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