Kaiser Program Remains Eligible for Federal Funds
Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals' San Francisco hospital is in compliance with federal standards and will remain eligible for federal funding for its kidney program, CMS said in a letter dated Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The letter is based on findings of an Aug. 18 survey (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).
CMS in July announced that it had accepted a plan by Kaiser to fix deficiencies at its San Francisco kidney transplant program after a report by the agency in June found that deficiencies at the Northern California kidney program affected nearly every aspect of the program.
Kaiser announced in May that it will close its kidney transplant center. Several news reports alleged program mismanagement that compromised patient care (California Healthline, 7/31). Kaiser is continuing to perform kidney transplants while it transfers patients to programs at the University of California-San Francisco and UC-Davis medical centers.
Jeff Flick, CMS regional administrator in San Francisco, said the letter ends the possibility of Kaiser losing federal funding for the program (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).
The Los Angeles Times reports that the possibility of losing eligibility for federal funds would have affected all patients being treated at the San Francisco facility for end-stage renal disease, not just kidney transplant patients (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 9/14).
During the August survey, investigators identified several "standard-level" deficiencies and asked Kaiser to address them. A plan of correction is due to CMS by Sept. 29.
Flick declined to specify the deficiencies until Kaiser submits the plan of correction.
Mary Ann Thode, president of Kaiser's Northern California region, said the deficiencies were not life threatening (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).