Hospital expands cardiology program

CIS contract not renewed, ending in February

Ochsner Health System and St. Charles Parish Hospital have announced plans to expand the hospital’s cardiology program in 2018.

“As we continue to assess the healthcare needs of St. Charles Parish, it became clear that there was a need for greater access to quality cardiac care here in the parish,” said Ricky Bosco, chairman of the hospital’s Board of Commissioners. “By expanding our cardiology program with Ochsner, we will be able to provide the residents of St. Charles Parish and the surrounding parishes with the highest standard of care, close to home.”

The hospital, which is managed by Ochsner, will bring in five Ochsner physicians to its cardiology program starting in early 2018.

The hospital’s ongoing, exclusive contract with Houma-based Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) is currently slated to end in early 2018, according to Ochsner. Area patients will not experience any disruption in care during this expansion period, according to St. Charles Hospital.

CIS established the hospital’s cardiology program in March of 2013, saying CIS Luling Clinic and cath lab have grown “double digits annually” since opening the facility.

“We were disappointed when Ochsner notified us that they would not be renewing our contract and were terminating our services and our office lease at St. Charles Parish Hospital at the end of February 2018,” according to a statement issued by CIS. “Our work, health outcomes, patient satisfaction and growth have all been excellent, which makes this termination surprising. In fact, CIS scores in patient satisfaction and outcomes have been considerably higher than in other areas of the hospital, a reflection of our dedication to success in caring for our patients.”

After the contract expires, CIS says it will continue to care for its nearly 3,200 patients in the area at a new and convenient location not yet specified.

At the hospital, CEO Austin Reeder said, “Increasing cardiology access with a larger, Ochsner team of physicians is an important step in our efforts to improve the healthcare experience for the region.”

The hospital’s cardiology patients can also use MyOchsner, a secure online tool that allows patients to communicate with physicians, schedule online appointments, view lab and imaging results, refill prescriptions and more, according to Ochsner.

In addition, physicians all use the industry-leading, electronic medical record system called Epic. This means, no matter which Ochsner facility a patient chooses to visit, the medical staff at that facility will have  access to the patient’s medical record, ensuring a higher level of coordinated care and improved outcomes.

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