Kaiser Permanente Plans for Transplant Patient Transfer
Kaiser Permanente this week began making arrangements to transfer 2,000 members awaiting kidney transplants to transplant programs at the University of California-Davis and UC-San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Before opening its own kidney transplant program in 2004, Kaiser contracted with UC-Davis and UCSF to perform Kaiser members' transplants. Kaiser on Friday announced that it would close its kidney transplant program after a series of disclosures about problems at the program.
Kaiser in two weeks will submit a plan to transfer Kaiser members to UC-Davis and UCSF, and the plan likely will be approved in about a month, according to Department of Managed Health Care spokesperson Lynne Randolphe.
Stephen Tomlanovich, director of UCSF's kidney transplant program, said he expects about 80% of Kaiser's kidney transplant patients in Northern California to transfer to UCSF and about 20% to transfer to UC-Davis' transplant program. Tomlanovich said it could take three months or longer to transfer Kaiser members to the UCSF transplant program.
UC-Davis and UCSF will have to increase nursing and administrative staffing to accommodate the patient transfers, but Tomlanovich and Richard Perez -- head of the kidney transplant program at UC-Davis -- said they do not anticipate similar issues to those Kaiser experienced when it transferred patients to its program.
Officials from Kaiser, UCSF, UC-Davis and the state and federal governments will monitor the patient transfer (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/17).