OUTPATIENT LABORATORY
ULTRASOUND AND PLAIN FILMS
NUCLEAR MEDICINE
NERVE CONDUCTION TESTING
HOLTER MONITOR TESTING
MED HEALTH SERVICES


Pricing transparency gets cloudier as health care costs soar
 

Earlier this fall, Highmark Inc. paid Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute $581 for doing a nuclear stress test for a patient. The insurer compensated UPMC Monroeville $1,540 for the same procedure — a common measure of how well the heart is working — in another patient.

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Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute
200 James Place, 1st Floor
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412-372-2035 Fax: 412-229-1432
     
 

Early Detection of Disease

There are Two Ways to Diagnose a Stroke:

· One is before it happens in this office with the modern technology available today.
· The other way is at the emergency room after it happens.

We Favor The First Way

 

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute's physicians are sub-specialized in the care of advanced and end-stage patients, including, but not limited to, end-stage cardiomyopathy, end-stage and or recurrent CHF patients, angina pectoris patients to rule out acute myocardial infarction, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, complex multi-system failure patients, post-stroke individuals with different degrees of physical impairments, low cardiac output cases, etc. Both of Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute's physicians, Dr. Caminos and Dr. Shah, have dual privileging status in cardiology and internal medicine, which allows them to closely monitor their patients on the PCP and specialty level.

 

Due to our commitment to provide preventive outpatient treatment, Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute's hospital admissions have declined dramatically by 55 to 65 percent as compared to those prior to the year 2000. This comes as a direct consequence of our increased confidence and reputation for controlling and treating our patients in our modern outpatient facility. In keeping with our philosophy of medical care, we limit admissions to interventional cardiac procedures, severe cases of intractable CHF, acute MI and surgery. This statistical fact is indicative of our commitment to following complex and advanced patients' on an outpatient basis.


 

 

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute physicians rely on their ability and freedom to diagnose patients by using, for example, EKG, X-Ray, echocardiography, nuclear stress testing and stat laboratory technology, in an outpatient modality of medicine. This allows our physicians to operate independently from the hospital setting. If a physicians' medical diagnosing reach is limited in the outpatient office environment, then he or she might be forced to send the patient to the hospital or the emergency room for the same testing that can be performed in less time and at a much lower cost in their own office. Emergency room visits often end up in unnecessary and costly hospital admissions for the patient as well, which in turn delay diagnosis and treatment.

 

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute also acts as a "chest pain and congestive heart failure clinic" for many patients and referring physicians, as our physicians offer the most modern and cost-effective manner of administering care to these types of patients and the other complex associated pathologies that we see. We strongly believe that unnecessary hospital admissions of end stage cardiomyopathy and advanced medical pathologies often endanger patients' lives unnecessarily due to forced early hospital discharges, the accumulation of multiple unnecessary specialists called in consultation for different reasons, patients being placed "on automatic pilot" by residents and emergency room physicians at night, under or over treatment of problems by well intentioned physicians who are not familiar with the peculiarities of each particular case, or medical personnel who are not familiar enough with each particular patient to know how to effectively and rapidly treat some of these complex cases today, to name a few reasons.

 

For instance, our physicians are able to evaluate a patient’s cardiac enzymes by performing a quick stat test in our office, or perform a stat venous doppler ultrasound test to rule out Deep Venous Thrombosis (venous vein clots) as a part of the patients consultation or office visit. This allows our physicians to immediately detect any problem the patient may be experiencing during their office visit, while preventing an unnecessary and costly hospital admission. Modern, high technology out patient care in settings such as ours at Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute is the way medicine will evolve in the future. Most of the diseases that will eventually one day affect the patients that we serve are silent and need detecting before they strike. Such is the case of coronary artery disease, where many times the first symptom is nothing less than sudden death, or cardiac arrest, or the rupture of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm, or a cerebrovascular accident due to undetected carotid plaque. All of these pathologies and patients can be evaluated and treated in time if their physicians take a preventative medicine approach to their clinical care.

 

Symptoms, pain, and tears are part of the suffering of infants and the young. The elderly die silently, some times suddenly, many times unnecessarily and other times without even knowing. The diseases that regretfully one day will kill us all are most of the times silent and must be detected in time. Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute doctors can due this in our outpatient medical setting that is well equipped with the latest technology for detecting and testing all types of pathologies.

 

As an outpatient care facility, we often come across medical analysts who use hospital-based criteria for evaluating out patient care. This hospital based medical mentality limits the "outpatient office" as a place to simply carry out follow-up visits, while the "real" medicine is limited to the hospital setting. This antiquated philosophy is handicapping progress in medicine, patients' health and physicians' ability to diagnose without delay, as well as the treatment and follow-up of complex patients we as physicians are able to provide in "outpatient facilities."

 

In order for our concept of "outpatient care" to be able to provide the best level of medical care in a timely fashion, it is essential that Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute the outpatient facility maintain itself independent from the hospital. This dynamic is evidenced at our outpatient facility, which is entirely different from the outpatient facilities currently controlled by hospital organizations. The latter are governed by internal autocracies that create strict boundaries among physicians and their specialties, which limit the types of testing that each physician is able to do in the outpatient setting. This in turns affects the dynamics of rapid, economical and agile diagnosing and care.

 

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute's modern outpatient facility provides our physicians with the tools to perform the same amount of testing in a couple hours that would take a hospital eight hours, several days or even weeks to perform through expensive admissions, multiple return visits, and lengthy registration processes. For this reason alone, the majority of our advanced disease patients achieve a degree of quality life and life prolongation far superior to the one provided by physicians that are forced to resort to hospital care and admission, including repetitive emergency room visits for their complex patients due to their inability to provided adequate outpatient care.