News | Cath Lab | June 14, 2019

Cardiac Cath Lab Economics Consensus Statement Released by SCAI and ACVP

Cath Lab econimics is being addressed by SCAI. Photo shows the Siemens Artis Q angiography system.

June 14, 2019 – An expert consensus statement provides recommendations for optimizing the financial operations of the cardiovascular catheterization laboratory (CCL) while providing cutting-edge patient care. It is intended for any physician, administrator, or CCL staff member who desires a fundamental understanding of finances and economics of CCLs in the U.S. The document, sponsored by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and endorsed by the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals (ACVP), was published online in SCAI’s official journal, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.[1]

Understanding the economics of CCLs is essential for physicians, administrators, and other CCL personnel as they strive to balance the best possible patient care with fiscal constraints and competing demands for resources. An efficient CCL can provide superb cutting-edge patient care, excellent patient experience, extreme employee workplace satisfaction, and financial support for other less-profitable hospital programs.

Optimizing a CCL’s operating margin requires maximizing revenues and minimizing expenses. CCL managers should not just focus on expense reduction. To be successful and financially viable under current payment systems, CCL physicians and managers must optimize the outcomes and the efficiency of care by aligning CCL leadership, strategy, organization, processes, personnel, and culture.

“Cath lab physician directors have a special opportunity and a special responsibility to align their labs’ operations with SCAI’s mission of saving and enhancing lives,” noted James C. Blankenship, M.D., MSc, MSCAI, who chaired the writing group. “This paper was written with the intent of helping them do just that,” he continued.

In addition to reviewing the general financial principles of CCL operation, the writing group emphasizes that fiscal concerns should not limit the quality or scope of CCL services. High-quality CCL care that prevents complications, increases efficiency, reduces waste, and eliminates unnecessary procedures represents a win for patients, physicians, and CCL administrators. Recommendations for balancing revenue and expenses, introducing new procedures, and thriving in the fee-for-service environment are listed in the document, as well as details that can be used immediately by CCL leaders.

For more information:

Link to all the SCAI 2019 lake-breaking trials.



1. James C. Blankenship, James W. Choi, Tony S. Das, et al. SCAI/ACVP expert consensus statement on cardiovascular catheterization laboratory economics: If the cath lab is your home you should understand its finances. Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. 19 May 2019

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