Transfer of Kidney Patients Continues
Most files for kidney transplant patients have been transferred from Kaiser Permanente Northern California to the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center and UC-Davis Medical Center, according to Department of Managed Health Care Director Cindy Ehnes, the San Francisco Business Times reports (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 9/29).
Kaiser announced in May that it will close its kidney transplant center. Several news reports alleged program mismanagement that compromised patient care.
Officials originally predicted that it would take six weeks to transfer all patients from the Kaiser program but later said that preparing patients and their records for transfer has taken more time than expected (California Healthline, 8/4).
According to DMHC, 985 of 1,930 Kaiser kidney transplant patients on the waiting list had been completely transferred at UCSF and UC-Davis as of Sept 19. Transfers are ongoing for an additional 815 patients, and the process has not begun for about 125 patients.
About 100 other patients have been ruled ineligible for transfer because their condition is too serious, they cannot be located or they have undergone kidney transplants elsewhere without Kaiser covering the cost.
In addition, DMHC said that 139 transplant patients have died while waiting to be transferred, but Kaiser spokesperson Matthew Schiffgens said that figure includes deaths dating back to 2004.
Since DMHC began its investigation into the transplant program, Kaiser has performed 16 kidney transplants, while 15 Kaiser kidney patients have undergone transplants at UCSF, four have received transplants at UC-Davis and five patients were treated elsewhere (San Francisco Business Times, 9/29).