OBJECTIVE: To change existing regulations which limit hospitals that are permitted to perform open heart surgery based on a mileage restriction from an existing facility performing the surgery.
STRATEGY: Drafted an amendment to the State Health Plan regulations basing the requirement on Area Development District boundaries rather than a mileage requirement.
Convinced Cabinet for Health Services officials of the need for the change and informed them of who is affected.
Lobbied individual members of the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee on the need for the change and convinced a member to request the amendment.
Testified with the client before the committee and had the amendment offered by one of the committee’s ranking members.
RESULTS: The amendment was opposed by the Kentucky Hospital Association and the large hospitals from both Lexington and Louisville who had a monopoly on open heart surgery from the south central Kentucky area and wanted no changes.
The amendment was approved by the committee on a 5-1 vote. Capitol Solutions privately assured legislators who were concerned the changes could affect the hospitals in their districts that we would support changing the regulation back to its original form once the open heart program was up and running at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset.
The open heart program at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital has successfully performed hundreds of procedures on area residents, eliminating the need for individuals and their families to travel to urban areas for the service. The regulation allowing the procedure has since been repealed per our agreement.