Kaiser Kidney Program Correction Plan Approved
CMS officials on Friday said they have accepted a plan by Kaiser Permanente to fix deficiencies at its San Francisco kidney transplant program, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/29).
Kaiser announced in May that it will close its kidney transplant center. Several news reports alleged program mismanagement that compromised patient care.
A CMS report released last month found that deficiencies at the Northern California kidney program affected nearly every aspect of the program, but Kaiser officials did not intervene or seem aware that patients were at risk (California Healthline, 6/26).
CMS regional administrator Jeff Flick said, "We are satisfied that in addition to fixing the problems, Kaiser has a good system of monitoring to make sure they do not reoccur, or, if they do, they are identified immediately and addressed quickly."
The approval allows Kaiser to continue providing care for patients with end-stage renal diseases and to receive Medicare reimbursement.
Flick said CMS will continue monitoring the facility "on a surprise basis" to ensure the deficiencies have been addressed.
Matthew Schiffgens, issues management director for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, said 828 of the estimated 2,000 patients on Kaiser's kidney waiting list have been transferred to the lists at University of California-San Francisco or UC-Davis medical centers. Kaiser will continue providing transplants if kidneys are available until all patients are transferred (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 7/29).