The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 27, 2013

Business cuts patients’ cost, travel hassle

Randy Griffith
rgriffith@tribdem.com

VINCO — As part of the peripherally inserted central catheters team at a Johnstown health care facility, Frank Krawcion envisioned bringing the service to more patients.

The procedure is used to place tubes, or catheters, that administer medication into the bloodstream over repeated or prolonged administration, Krawcion explained at his Harmony Road home and office near Vinco.

By hiring Krawcion’s fledgling company, PICC Us Vascular Access Specialists, facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes can save patients the expense, discomfort and inconvenience of being transported by ambulance to a hospital with a PICC team.

“It’s actually cheaper for me to put in a PICC than for the hospital to hire someone,” Krawcion said.

Nursing homes, hospice programs and home nursing agencies save the expense of an ambulance transport and hospital outpatient procedure.

PICC Us has invested in a portable ultrasound system that uses imaging technology to guide the catheter from an incision in the patient’s upper arm through a blood vessel to its connection with the heart. The company’s system includes technology to monitor heart activity and confirm the catheter is in the proper location without requiring a chest X-ray, he added.

The central lines allow repeated or prolonged doses without numerous injections or irritation of the blood vessel, Krawcion said. They are often ordered by physicians for intravenous feeding or long-term administration of chemotherapy, antibiotics or other medications.

After launching his business more than a year ago, Krawcion recently landed his first contract with a Philadelphia hospital. He’s driving back and forth when his services are needed, but hopes to expand to more facilities in this area so he can hire someone else for the eastern Pennsylvania work.

“I guess I can say now that my little local business is starting to get off of the ground,” he said.

 

Randy Griffith covers health care for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.