Kaiser Sanctioned for Kidney Transplant Program
The United Network for Organ Sharing on Wednesday announced that Kaiser Permanente's Northern California kidney program has lost its "good standing" designation, the Los Angeles Times reports. UNOS oversees the national transplant system (Ornstein/Weber, Los Angeles Times, 12/14).
The sanction marks the second time ever that UNOS has issued its toughest penalty (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14).
Sue McDiarmid, president of UNOS, said that Kaiser had "effectively denied patient access to kidney transplantation and threatened safety for patients on its waiting list" during the initial stages of the program in 2004 and 2005 (Los Angeles Times, 12/14).
Kaiser in May announced that it would close its kidney program. Several news investigations alleged program mismanagement that compromised patient care.
Following its closure, the center transferred about 85% of its 2,300 patients to UC-San Francisco Medical Center and UC-Davis Health System.
Mary Ann Thode, president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Northern California, said the remaining 356 patients will be transferred by early next year or could undergo surgery if an organ becomes available before they are transferred (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14).