I have been a dialysis patient for seven year this August 10, which anniversary I celebrate each year. The first two years I did dialysis at University Kidney Center in Louisville, KY. On the third year, the center was bought and operated by American Renal Associates. I have been on dialysis vacationing, which put me with Satellite Healthcare in California and B. Braun Avitum in the Philippines. I listed the providers to show I have been around. Right now I am with DaVita.
I saw Dialysis: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. John Oliver made good points but I would like to offer a reality check. The episode focused on DaVita making it look like DaVita has an exclusive on “bad incentives, poor oversight and profiteering”. Bad incentives, poor oversight and profiteering describe the entire healthcare system in all of America, maybe even the entire world, not just one Dialysis provider. I have nothing against John Oliver but he should have researched other dialysis providers and made a comparison to be fair.
The DaVita four stars rating from Medicare which John Oliver found unbelievable comes from a survey mailed to patients. I am one of those patients who have given those stars. The rating doesn’t say DaVita is perfect, four stars is not five stars. However, patients of other dialysis providers suffer wrongful death arising from staff negligence or unqualified technician resulting in hemorrhages, “lawsuit against American Renal Associates that alleged it was responsible for a woman’s wrongful death…Sheila Marie Workman died on Sept. 23, 2013…There was a large amount of blood found under her treatment chair.” (wvrecord.com)
Fresenius Medical Care owns dialysis clinics and provides many of the products used by other hemodialysis centers. NaturaLyte Liquid Acid Concentrate and Granuflo Dry Acid Concentrate, both provided by Fresenius was found to cause heart attack, cardiac arrest or death during hemodialysis. Information about the risk of using Granuflo and NaturaLyte was withheld by Fresenius, “at least 941 dialysis patients treated at Fresenius clinics suffered cardiac arrest during treatments in 2010.” (www.youhavealawyer.com)
The episode quoted a supposedly DaVita Educator as saying patients have declined transplant because they are comfortable with their life on dialysis. John Oliver reacted to this as incredulous. Reality check, I am one of those patients who have declined transplant for five years until Flora Chan, a DaVita Social Worker convinced me last year. I got on the transplant list.