• ACE in the News

    Type Size

    ACE Updates Cath/PCI Standards for 2020 with Guidance for Ambulatory Surgery Centers

    MIDLOTHIAN, VA—Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) is announcing the release of its newly updated, openly available and transparently developed quality standards for the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

    These are standards crucial to quality delivery of cardiac Cath/PCI services, especially in environments where patients needing additional care must be transferred to another facility, such as Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). These new standards along with ACE accreditation can be utilized to ensure ASCs meet environmental, procedural, minimum volume and appropriate use criteria to provide efficient, quality and safe care for patients.

    First Quality Standards Available for Ambulatory Surgery Centers 

    Last updated in 2015, ACE quality standards for cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention have undergone a comprehensive review and update process led by the ACE Board of Directors, including review of all recent literature and guidance documents from professional societies, resulting in the first openly available ambulatory surgery center standards.

    Standards are updated as-needed, and all relevant changes and developments in science and guidance are incorporated into these 2020 standards. Noteworthy additions include a new section with quality guidelines and measures for the treatment of Cardiogenic Shock (page 16), in addition to the first openly available quality standards for the provision of quality Cath/PCI services in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (pages 6-9).

    "Medicare has recently approved reimbursement for the performance of some of these procedures in ambulatory care centers," says Bonnie H Weiner, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer of ACE on the importance of these standards' availability. "There really have been no standards for their performance until now. The societies published guidelines in the Spring, and those recommendations were incorporated into the ACE standards."

    New Ambulatory Surgery Center Standards Extend Value of ACE to Providers, Regulators

    ACE Standards may be particularly useful to regulators and providers in ensuring safe, quality care provision across facility types where emergency resources are not as immediately available as in a traditional hospital setting, such as sites without on-site surgical back-up as well as ASCs.

    ACE Standards for sites without on-site cardiac surgery have previously been specifically recognized by Pennsylvania and Michigan, two States that require regulatory waivers for such facilities, as a comprehensive level of independent review for achieving a waiver.

    The need for quality standards to be met in ASCs to ensure safe patient care may be even greater. "[Ambulatory Surgery Centers] do not have the structure and support associated with a hospital," says Peggy McElgunn, Esq., Chief Operations Officer of ACE. "They are going to need the framework that standards provide. We know from our work [accreditation] is very important for a hospital, but even more-so for these providers."

    ACE Review Confirms Quality Care in Cardiac Services

    The provision of these standards for ASCs is a significant development for the field as regulators and providers reckon with regulatory change resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic. "These standards set a bar that facilities can use to compare themselves to," says Dr. Weiner.

    But ACE review provides even more crucial assurances in uncertain environments. The supportive ACE accreditation process provides crucial value to both providers and health system stakeholders. "Having an external review allows for validation and identification of areas where there are still areas for improvement."

    ACE continues to develop cutting-edge science examining the effects of supportive quality accreditation as well as effective quality improvement, which will be shared in the coming weeks on cvexcel.org and cvqualitymatters.org.

    See also: what's NEW in ACE's 2020 Cath/PCI Quality Standards »

    Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence is an independent, physician-led organization that evaluates and monitors facilities providing cardiovascular care. Accreditation awarded by ACE means that the highest quality standards for cardiovascular and endovascular care are met by doctors and staff caring for patients undergoing diagnostic and interventional catheterization procedures.

    Learn more about ACE's 2020 standards for Cath/PCI, here.

    Contact: Peggy McElgunn, Esq.
    Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence
    Phone: 202.657.6859
    Email: peggy@cvexcel.org