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Aurora BayCare part of national heart study that reports cost savings for cardiac patients

Friday, October 18, 2013

Green Bay, Wis. – Aurora BayCare Medical Center is one of four hospitals to participate in a ground-breaking national study that demonstrated the cost that can be reduced and care improved for cardiac patients by performing a common heart test (cardiac catheterization) through the wrist.

In this study, the cost to provide care involving cardiac catheterization (a procedure that demonstrates whether or not the arteries that bring food and oxygen to the muscle of the heart can function normally) was examined.

Traditionally, catheterizations were done by inserting a catheter into the femoral artery, a large blood vessel at the top of the leg, and feeding it up to the heart where contract (a type of dye) can be injected, permitting the heart’s blood vessels and pumping chambers to be seen. Advancements have allowed cardiologists to now perform catheterizations by inserting a catheter into the radial artery, a smaller blood vessel in the wrist. This has led to faster recovery times and fewer risks and complications for patients at a lower cost.

Dr. David Mathias, interventional cardiologist with Aurora BayCare Medical Center, is a pioneer in performing catheterizations through the wrist. “A heart catheterization is a common procedure for a wide spectrum of men and women ranging from healthy outpatients to patients in cardiogenic shock,” said Dr. Mathias. “This advancement has given patients less time in recovery and fewer complications. It also demonstrated a cost reduction of $830 per patient. We anticipate these findings will have a significant impact on cardiology throughout the nation.”

Dr. Mathias has been performing catheterizations through the wrist for more than 15 years. At Aurora BayCare, the percentage of catheterizations performed using this approach is now 55%. The national average is 5%. In this study, the other participating hospitals averaged only 17% of catheterizations being done through the wrist.

The study, titled “Costs of Transradial PCI,” is published in JACC Intervention. It can also be found online at:

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 167-bed, full-service tertiary care hospital located at 2845 Greenbrier Road on Green Bay’s east side. It opened in September 2001 as a joint venture of BayCare Clinic and Aurora Health Care. Aurora BayCare is committed to creating a better way to provide high quality tertiary healthcare, the latest in medical technology and superior service.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

BayCare Clinic is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is comprised of over 100 specialty physicians with expertise in more than 20 specialties. BayCare Clinic physicians have served patients in Green Bay and the surrounding region for more than 30 years.

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Contact: Kristin Rabas

(920) 288.3638

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