Court: More detail needed in angioplasty sanctions case

TRENTON – The state Superior Court Appellate Division has ordered the state Department of Health to gather more information regarding a hospital that was sanctioned for performing two emergency angioplasties without being licensed to perform them.

The case involves two emergency procedures in 2006 and 2007 performed at Warren Hospital.  The hospital argues the state sanctions are pre-empted by a federal statute authorizing such procedures in life-or-death situations.

The court today ordered the state Health Department to develop a fuller record in the case. Among other things, the court said the state needs to look into how great the risks of patient transfer would have been, including whether the risks were created by the hospital’s own actions.

According to the court, such cardiac surgery angioplasties are usually performed for Warren Hospital patients at Easton Hospital in Pennsylvania, about five miles away.

In each case, the procedure was performed successfully and the patients recovered.

The state fined the hospital $5,000 and ordered it to hire a consultant to develop procedures for future such cases.

However, after a hearing before an administrative law judge, it was determined the physicians acted properly and the sanction was lifted.

But the acting Commission of Health at the time reversed that decision and reinstated the sanctions.

However, the court today said a more complete factual record needs to be developed.

Court: More detail needed in angioplasty sanctions case