Low Volume Cardiac Surgery Program

Clinical Innovation

CABG surgery volumes continue to show year to year declines; if your program is experiencing low or declining volumes, what are your options?

CFA uses an analytics generated profile that helps senior leaders make more informed decisions regarding a strategy that best fits your facility goals and community needs.


Service Delivery
Revenue Growth


Is Your Cardiac Surgery Program Experiencing Low Volumes?

Cardiac surgery volumes continue to show year to year declines in CABG and slight increases in cardiac valve surgery.  Many hospitals with declining or minimal cardiac surgery volumes are now experiencing declining elective PCI volumes as well.  There may be strategic and practical reasons to continue to operate a low volume, underperforming service such as cardiac surgery and PCI programs.  However, many cardiac surgery programs performing under 100 cases/year struggle to maintain financial sustainability – often needing cross-subsidization.

What Can Be Done?

CFA is currently assisting several hospitals with strategic planning and development regarding the future of cardiac surgery and PCI services.  We can assist you in developing a “go forward” strategy that best fits your facility goals and community needs.  If you currently have what is considered a “low volume program” or are experiencing steadily declining volumes, we can help you answer the following questions:

  • How will Medicare reimbursement and other revenues be affected?  How will managed care contracting be affected?   What are the overall financial consequences?  How will Medicare’s mandatory bundled pricing model impact financial outcomes?
  • Does one divest to decrease expenses, or does one try to re-invest in an effort to capture new market share (in an era of overall declining market size)?  What happens to coronary intervention volume if you divest surgery?
  • Are there alternatives that could be developed with affiliated or competitor hospitals?
  • Does one attempt to develop a new clinical niche (such as a valve or EP center program) in an attempt to augment and optimize volume?
  • How will competitive pressures, the continuing evolution of payment and patient care innovations, and continuing consolidation figure into these strategies?
  • How can supporting a low-volume service be on the right side of a population health strategy that your hospital or health system may be developing?
  • What are the clinical outcome trends?
  • If you decide to divest, what is the optimal strategy for winding-down the program?

What Sets CFA Apart?

Our cardiovascular-focused consulting practice considers standard financial and market assessment methods – in/out migration, changing contracting/reimbursement models, shifts in procedures, CV physician practice patterns – as a first step, providing only baseline information.  We believe the use of a multi-factorial analytics platform customized for your particular market can “dig deeper” into the data and identify often missed or important performance trends and opportunities.

CFA offers the ability to produce a customized, comprehensive profile of your program.  Filtering cardiac program specific internal/external data sets through a customized analytics platform produces an integrated spectrum of statistically correlated indicators/measures.  Using an analytics generated profile paints a clearer strategic picture of your low volume program and thus helps senior leaders make more informed decisions for their organizations.  Whether the decision is to improve strategic positioning, costs, operational efficiency or clinical outcomes, with CFA’s comprehensive approach, programs can identify, prioritize and focus on a key menu of actions needed to improve performance for their particular program.

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