May 21, 2016
Joint Dialysis Venture Set
May 19, 2016
DaVita, Northwell Health Partner on Kidney-Care Services
DaVita Kidney Care and Northwell Health on Thursday announced a joint venture that they hope will boost the quality of care for patients being treated for renal disease in Queens, Long Island and other areas of New York.
The healthcare providers will merge resources for transplant and inpatient services, physician education and support, clinical research and other areas of care, they said in a press release. Later this year, they plan to open a freestanding dialysis center where nurses will instruct patients on using dialysis equipment at home.
Denver-based DaVita Healthcare Partners saw its earnings boom last year, buoyed by strong performance in its kidney-care division, which operates more than 2,200 outpatient dialysis facilities in the U.S. Northwell Health (formerly known as North Shore-LIJ) is New York state's largest health system, generating more than $89 million in operating income in 2015.
The partnership comes as federal health officials and renal disease researchers have expressed concern about the quality of care kidney patients receive. A study last year found that many dialysis patients get substandard care despite well-known best-practices and standards.
The CMS began issuing star ratings for dialysis facilities in 2015 as part of its broader initiative to boost transparency and help Medicare beneficiaries compare quality. In a video accompanying the announcement, a DaVita spokeswoman noted that its facilities are more likely to be rated four or five stars.
Davita and Northwell, however, emphasized that part of their focus will be on the expansion of in-home dialysis services. Patients whose kidneys have failed require life-saving dialysis treatments three times a week for three to five hours at a time in order to survive. Many travel to a dialysis facility for this care.
Special equipment can be placed in the patient's home if certain electrical and drainage requirements are met, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
While that option offers the patient more flexibility, access to home dialysis remains limited. Currently about 325 of the approximately 7,000 residents of Long Island and Queens receive in-home dialysis treatment, the joint news release said.
DaVita Thursday also announced it plans to acquire a primary care group in Orlando and integrate it into its local medical group.
Family Health Care of Central Florida has 13 providers and serves thousands of patients in the Orlando metro area, according to a press release. DaVita's JSA Medical Group works with primary care providers and specialists to manage patients' care. Financial terms were not disclosed but the transaction is expected to close soon.
Healthcare Finance News
May 20, 2016
Northwell Health, Davita Join Forces to Deliver, Expand Kidney Care Services
Northwell Health, New York State's largest healthcare provider and private employer, and DaVita Kidney Care have announced a joint venture that will expand renal disease healthcare services to thousands in Queens and Long Island.
DaVita currently runs more than 2300 dialysis centers in 11 countries, including in the United States.
Moving forward, the joint venture will unfold in phases but will eventually include: physician education and support, chronic kidney disease education, network of outpatient centers, hospital services, vascular access, integrated care, clinical research, and transplant services, the organizations said.
As part of phase one, construction is already underway for Nassau County's first freestanding home dialysis center in Floral Park, and is scheduled to open this year. Nurses at the facility will educate patients on how to use in-home dialysis equipment and do home visits to ensure they are doing things right, allowing patients the opportunity to maintain their independence and care for themselves in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
The DaVita/Northwell partnership will encourage more in-home treatment at the new Long Island and Queens joint centers. DaVita and Northwell have already assumed joint ownership and operation of a Port Washington Dialysis Center. Later this year, two other existing DaVita facilities in Huntington Station and Syosset will also become part of their network. By its fifth year, the joint venture should serve 1,200 patients in the area.
Additional expansion into Staten Island is also planned.
"Bringing together the resources of two high-quality health care providers like Northwell Health and DaVita will significantly enhance the services we'll be able to provide to kidney dialysis patients throughout the New York area," said Steven Fishbane, MD, chief of nephrology and vice president of dialysis services at Northwell Health, and medical director of the new dialysis network being established with DaVita. "It's a major development that will lead to new cutting-edge advancements in the delivery of nephrology services, including greater expansion of in-home dialysis services, which are currently limited to about 325 of the approximately 7,000 residents of Long Island and Queens receiving dialysis treatment."
DaVita Kidney Care is a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company that, through its operating divisions, and treats patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. As of March 31, 2016, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 2,278 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 180,000 patients.
Northwell Health, which was formerly known as North Shore-LIJ Health System for a major rebranding campaign this winter, employs 61,000 people and includes 21 hospitals and nearly 450 outpatient practices. The system serves more than 1.8 million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond.
Nephrology News & Issues
May 20, 2016
DaVita, Northwell Health Form Joint Venture in New York