KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Immigrant Dialysis Patients In Atlanta Again Face Treatment Crisis

Almost two dozen patients face the loss of life-saving treatment. 

The New York Times: Clinic Rejects Immigrants After Impasse With Hospital
After the collapse of negotiations between Atlanta's public hospital and the world's largest dialysis provider, a dozen immigrants suffering from renal failure were refused treatment at an Atlanta clinic on Thursday and advised to wait until their conditions deteriorated enough to justify life-saving care in an emergency room. Unless the deadlock is broken, 22 patients, most of them illegal immigrants, face a debilitating cycle (Sack, 9/1).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Dialysis Patients Lose Access To Treatments At National Provider 
Most of the patients, because they are in the country illegally, don't qualify for Medicare, which covers dialysis for most Americans with end-stage renal disease. Without regular dialysis, experts say, people suffering from the disease can die within weeks (Williams, 9/1). 

Georgia Health News: Dialysis Deal Runs Out, Leaving 22 In Limbo
Grady and Fresenius had been in negotiations on continuing the hospital's payments for dialysis care of the immigrants, but the talks failed to produce a new agreement. Grady’s recent financial slide is clearly a major factor in the situation. A Grady spokesman, Matt Gove, said the hospital has lost $20 million so far this year, while Fresenius Medical Care had net income last year of about $1 billion (Miller, 9/1).  

The Associated Press/Washington Examiner: No Agreement Between Grady And Dialysis Provider
Grady spokesman Matt Gove said the hospital has offered to pay $270,000 for some treatment but cannot afford to pay for regular ongoing dialysis ... Grady provided regular care for the patients until budget cuts forced it to close its outpatient dialysis clinic nearly two years ago. ... last year, three private clinics took on 13 patients as charity cases, and Grady agreed to pay Fresenius to treat the remaining 25 patients. Since then, three patients have become privately insured, Gove said (Brumback, 9/1).

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