Heritage Valley Cardiologists Implement Procedure to Reduce Hospitalizations

Heritage Valley Medical Group (HVMG) physicians are using a new device which can help patients and physicians better manage heart failure, while reducing  office visits and hospitalizations. More than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face higher risk of death.

Dr. Kenneth House, Dr. Richard Begg, Dr. Jasvinder Sandhu, Dr. William Slemenda and Dr. Michael Malkowski, Heritage Valley Medical Group Cardiologists, are coordinating placement and follow up care   for CardioMEMS, a device that accurately measures and transmits pulmonary artery pressure in heart failure patients that meet certain criteria.

“Congestive heart failure is a condition where the heart fails to keep up with the volume of blood flowing through its chambers,” explained Dr. Kenneth House, medical director of the program at Heritage Valley. “The CardioMems HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. It’s an option we feel will improve the lives of our patients.”

Currently, implantation of the CardioMEMS device is done as an outpatient procedure at the John “Tito” Francona Heart & Vascular Center Cath Lab at Heritage Valley Beaver. Those patients eligible for the procedure are New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who have been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during an outpatient procedure to directly measure PA pressure. The new system allows patients to transmit sensor readings of pulmonary artery pressure from their homes to their Heritage Valley cardiologists.

“Increased pulmonary artery pressure appears before weight and blood pressure changes, so it is an early indicator of worsening heart failure,” said Dr. Richard Begg, HVMG Cardiologist. “The system enables us to receive personalized information from the device implanted in the patient. Thus, we are able to proactively manage patients from the comfort of their homes.”

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CarioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Heritage Valley successfully completed their first CardioMEMS implantation on August 13, 2015. For more information on the John “Tito” Francona Heart & Vascular Center and the Heritage Valley Medical Group Cardiologists, call 724-773-4900 or go to www.heritagevalley.org.



About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $480 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,700 employees and more than 480 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver; in 60 physician offices; and 18 community satellite facilities.  For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.