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Consumer Protection During Vein Treatments

catheter vein care

Ensuring the Best Quality Vein Care at Albert Vein Institute

Albert Vein Institute, Dr. Albert, and the rest of our team puts your safety and quality vein care above all else. We recognize that many patients may have received poor vein care at other locations in the past, making it vital to explain how to find the best vein care possible.

Keep reading to learn more about these malpractices so you can always be sure you’re receiving the best care possible.

False Advertising Claims

You have probably seen claims from other vein centers such as, “We have performed the most procedures,” ”More patients in Colorado have been treated by us” or “Our ultrasound diagnostic accuracy is in the top 10% of the nation.”

These claims should be considered suspect, as there is no published data from other vein centers readily available for comparison. These types of claims could also potentially be considered illegal to make. Prospective patients should be suspicious as to the need for a legitimate vein center to make these false claims and avoid choosing vein care at any center that makes these statements.

False Significance of Credentialing

First, there are no Board Accredited Phlebology fellowships in Colorado. The only accredited Phlebology Fellowship is at New York University in New York City. Any reference to a Phlebology Fellowship in Colorado is unrecognized and non-accredited by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.

Any statement suggesting completion of a non-accredited fellowship and declaring exclusive excellence (top % of nation) is false and misleading. Board certification of any type is simply an admission ticket to allow a physician to prove his/her value to patients and referring physicians. Passing a test does not prove anyone’s capability to be a competent phlebologist.

Instead, a high-level surgical skill set in combination with an extensive experience level in treating venous disease, supported by an exclusive commitment to phlebology, is a good recipe for success. At Albert Vein Institute, Dr. James D. Albert, double board-certified in Cardiovascular Surgery for over three decades and board-certified phlebologist for the last 10 years, will always determine your appropriate treatment plan and perform all endovenous ablation procedures if indicated.

Read More: Why You Should Choose an Accredited Vein Center

Unnecessary Exams: Do you Need an Ultrasound?

It’s common for us to hear that patients have undergone an ultrasound for their vein condition. Other than identification of symptomatic suspected superficial or deep vein thrombosis, duplex ultrasounds should be performed selectively.

Duplex ultrasound reflux studies are only indicated in the presence of symptoms consistent with venous insufficiency (aching, burning, itching, heaviness, leg fatigue, and significant swelling associated with varicose veins). Asymptomatic patients with spider veins in most circumstances do not need ultrasound analysis to determine treatment. Medicare does not sanction vein screening, since there are no unsuspected conditions in asymptomatic patients that would require treatment to improve quality or quantity of life.

Offering “free venous screening” to Medicare, Medicare Advantage patients, or patients with standard insurance that follow Medicare guidelines is a violation of the Office of the Inspector General 2002 report. This report states that it is illegal to offer a Medicare patient any services that are valued at more than $10.00 that may potentially influence where the patient pursues treatment. These offenses may result in a $10,000.00 fine per incident.

The Bait and Switch Approach

Vein Centers may provide you with a “bait and switch” approach, whereby you are told that one doctor will perform any needed procedures. You then discover that this physician is somehow providing services simultaneously at seven different vein centers across locations 500 miles apart, while meeting full-time obligations as a physician at a hospital in the region.

Make sure to do your research about the credentials and employment responsibilities of the person actually performing your procedure. You may find yourself initially seen by an interventional radiologist and then have your procedure performed by a family practice physician who has completed a non-accredited fellowship or potentially by a physician assistant.

Resterilization of Materials

Patients needing endovenous thermal ablation of their superficial veins should be aware that some vein clinics are using radiofrequency catheters that have been re-sterilized, even though the companies that produce these have declared that they are made for “single-use only ” application.

In most cases, the patient is not informed that a less expensive, “resterilized” catheter is being used on them. Patients should inquire if “resterilized” radiofrequency devices are being used at any vein center where they are seeking treatment and make their own decision as to their willingness to participate in this practice.

Book Your Consultation at Albert Vein Institute Today

Albert Vein Institute has been providing state-of-the-art vein care since 2006. Initially established in Colorado Springs, AVI expanded to Lone Tree in 2012 to meet the demands of our patients. Dr. James D. Albert, RPVI is double board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Phlebology, and he is exclusively committed to the treatment of venous disease at these two facilities.

At Albert Vein Institute, it’s important for us to let our patients know we will be using all methods under the law to protect your health and offer the best care. To book a consultation, contact our team today: (303) 857-5111. For more vein care updates and tips, visit our blog!