Wisconsin Heart Facts

Expert heart care for the whole you.

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Welcome to Wisconsin Heart Facts

This site offers a central resource for those seeking information about ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care and the future of heart care services for Northeast and Central Wisconsin. We will keep this site updated as information is available.


Setting the Story Straight

As a not-for-profit health system, ThedaCare exists to serve the people of our community. Watch Dr. Andrabi, CEO and President, address misinformation being shared about Cardiovascular Care at ThedaCare.


Official statement from ThedaCare to WLUK Fox 11:

ThedaCare is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve. Here are some facts regarding the recent choice of some area cardiologists:

  • A group of formerly employed cardiologists chose to become a for-profit independent practice.
  • ThedaCare invited them to join our network on the same terms as the other 1,100 employed and independent provider members. These 1,100 share a common vision for patient care, which is supported by complete access to the Epic electronic health record. They never responded to our offer.
  • All medical staff members, including this group of cardiologists, can access patient hospital records in the Epic system.
  • As a not-for-profit health system, ThedaCare centers every decision around our patients, their families and our caregivers, and all revenue over expenses is reinvested back into the community.
  • In that spirit, when they opened their new clinic, they were technically unable to securely receive electronic patient records; ThedaCare helped them set up their data network and we are ahead of schedule in transmitting requested records.
  • The future of cardiovascular care at ThedaCare is bright. Our team is bringing new procedures not seen before in our area.
  • We wish the cardiologists well at the new clinic. It’s time to move forward. ThedaCare is focused on our patients, and we are honored they trust us with their health and care.
Dr. Imran Andrabi, ThedaCare CEO

"At ThedaCare, our patients are the center of every decision we make and you will continue to receive the excellent heart care you've come to expect from us."

Imran A. Andrabi, MD

President and CEO, ThedaCare

A Letter from Dr. Andrabi
Dr. Imran Andrabi, ThedaCare CEO

"As physicians, we truly value the personal bonds that can form between a doctor and patient."

Scott Betzelos, MD

Chief Clinical Officer

President, Clinically Integrated Network

A Letter from Dr. Betzelos
Dr. Imran Andrabi, ThedaCare CEO

MARCH 2019

For generations, patients have turned to ThedaCare for world-class care - and we are committed to providing enhanced access to that expertise. Patients can be confident in continuity of care with ThedaCare's world-class team of cardiologists who are available to serve your needs today and in the future.

icons of people representing ThedaCare providers under ThedaCare logo

Benefits of Receiving Care from ThedaCare's Network of Providers

COMPREHENSIVE

A full array of healthcare expertise for your whole family - and the whole you.

COMPLETE

Seamless care since ThedaCare physicians have ready access to your complete electronic medical records.

CONFIDENCE

Your ThedaCare primary care providers communicate and coordinate your cardiovascular care with ThedaCare specialists.

CONVENIENT

Seven hospitals and more than three dozen clinics and care centers across Northeast and Central Wisconsin.

QUALITY CARE

ThedaCare is recognized for our safe, high-quality heart care as we operate the area's only accredited cath lab - only one of two in the state - which features specialized imaging technology necessary for minimally invasive heart procedures. Further, ThedaCare is the only Wisconsin member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, providing direct access to Mayo Clinic experts and clinical resources for a second opinion, right here at home.

Healthcare continues to change, and doctors' relationships with hospitals continues to change too. Across America, some doctors are leaving their independent practices to be part of a healthcare system that is united in treating patients. In other situations, hospital-employed doctors are leaving to create their own clinics and become business owners. The same thing is happening here in Northeast and Central Wisconsin.

illustration representing current situation of ThedaCare cardiologists

In 2010, ThedaCare purchased Appleton Cardiology, an independent physicians' practice, and those doctors became ThedaCare employees. Almost nine years later, those doctors changed their mind and now want to open a stand-alone clinic again. The doctors' last day as employees of ThedaCare was March 31, 2019.

The decision by the cardiologists to leave ThedaCare can be troubling to some patients who may feel like they're being forced to choose between staying with ThedaCare or experimenting with a new clinic. We at ThedaCare are saddened that patients are being placed into this position. ThedaCare attempted to avoid it, including inviting the cardiologists to be in our network of care, with all the benefits of our system including ready access to complete electronic health records, which they declined.

In addition to its more than 6,700 doctors, nurses and other specialists, ThedaCare continues to build upon its team of cardiovascular doctors and other specialists to ensure patients have the expert care they need and the compassion they want seamlessly and conveniently. Patients can be confident in the continuity of care they'll receive from ThedaCare, from prevention to testing to advanced treatments and surgery with the latest technology.

WHAT'S THE CHANGE FOR PATIENTS?

Cardiovascular patients at ThedaCare continue to have uninterrupted access to cardiovascular doctors, surgeons and other specialists, with the same seamless access to their complete electronic health records, treatment histories and insurance coverages. Patients still have access to ThedaCare's seven hospitals and more than three dozen clinics and care centers across Northeast and Central Wisconsin, as well as to the only accredited cath lab in the area that features the special imaging equipment needed for safe, high-quality minimally invasive treatments.

With your health in mind, ThedaCare will assist you in transferring your patient records to the clinic at your request. Patients are able to schedule cardiovascular care appointments with ThedaCare providers by calling 920-731-8900.

Q & A

We want to ensure patients and their families have the whole story so that each can make fully informed decisions about their healthcare needs.

ThedaCare says it has the only accredited "cardiac cath lab" in the area. What is a cath lab?

A "Cardiac Catheterization Lab" is a specially equipped hospital examination room where care teams perform minimally invasive procedures and tests to diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions. A cath lab has special imaging equipment so that doctors can see blood flow through a patient's arteries and guide tiny catheters through blood vessels to correct problems. ThedaCare was recognized for its safe, high-quality care and has the only cath lab in the area accredited by the American College of Cardiology based on rigorous on-site evaluation.

Was it ThedaCare's decision to have the cardiologists leave?

No. ThedaCare actively discussed the future of cardiovascular care with the cardiologists, including how the independent providers might still work with ThedaCare. We attempted to avoid the separation, including inviting the cardiologists to be in our network of care, with all the benefits of our system, including ready access to complete electronic health records, which they declined. In the meantime, ThedaCare's more than 6,700 doctors, nurses and specialists continue to care for patients with excellence and compassion.

Why is it important for providers to have access to my complete electronic health record?

Providers are able to make the best evidence-based assessments of your health and care needs when they have view to your medical records, prescription history and more, not just your cardiovascular tests and treatments.

This new clinic promises care "at a lower cost". Can that be true?

We don't know. Healthcare costs are often determined in insurance reimbursement rates and individual plans, particularly for those who may file under Medicare and Medicaid. ThedaCare accepts most insurance programs and works with medical plans to ensure patients are getting the care they need.

Will my insurance pay if I choose to transfer my care to this new clinic?

We don't know. The clinic's website says they are "applying for insurance," suggesting that arrangements may not yet be finalized with any insurance providers. At ThedaCare, you have peace of mind that your insurance coverage remains uninterrupted.

Will this clinic be able to take care of all my healthcare needs?

Likely not. First, the new clinic only focuses on cardiovascular services and therefore would not be capable of addressing other healthcare needs you may have. Second, the clinic does not appear to have full lab services and would not be able to address more complex needs that require surgery or hospitalization. On the contrary, ThedaCare has full surgical and laboratory facilities, along with the area's only accredited cath lab, in seven hospitals, more than three dozen clinics and care centers across Northeast and Central Wisconsin, providing families the most convenient an comprehensive medical care in the region.

If I choose to receive my heart care from the new clinic, can I continue to receive medical care from ThedaCare for my other health needs?

Absolutely. ThedaCare is honored to treat the whole you. Patients can be confident in counting on ThedaCare for expert, world-class care across all disciplines. From prevention and immunizations to a full-range of specialists, we are here to improve your health. For heart patients, that includes coordinating care between your ThedaCare primary care provider and your cardiovascular care doctor.

Have a question?

Please submit any questions below, and we will do our best to address questions of common interest on this site. Please include your contact information so that we can reply directly, but please don't include any confidential medical information.

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THEDACARE EXPERTS FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH

We have a complete heart program backed by more than 6,700 caregivers. Meet a few of our cardiologists.

Dr. Abdelkader Almanfi of ThedaCare

Dr. Abdelkader Almanfi is the Director of ThedaCare’s Structural Heart Program. Dr. Almanfi is board certified in cardiovascular disease, specializing in the latest minimally invasive, non-surgical technologies to repair or replace heart valves without the need for open-heart surgery. Dr. Almanfi completed his internship at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and his residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed fellowships in cardiology and interventional cardiology at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Simone Fearon of ThedaCare

Dr. Simone Fearon specializes in general non-invasive cardiology consultation, cardiac imaging, preventive cardiology and wellness, and women’s cardiology, and will serve as a physician leader of cardiovascular care. She holds a Doctor of Medicine from The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. She completed an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and, as a lifelong learner, also pursued a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare from Florida International University.

ThedaCare is proud of our network of doctors, hospitals and health care professionals who come together to provide a complete, one-stop solution for all your family’s medical needs.

For more information,
visit thedacare.org/heartcare
or call 920.731.8900 to
schedule an appointment.

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