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County Commissioners ponder private dialysis center


January 07, 2010
OSSIPEE — Would a private dialysis provider locate in Carroll County if it's allowed to use the old county nursing home?

County Commissioners talked about that possibility at their meeting last week. The discussion began when Mountain View Nursing Home Administrator Sandi McKenzie told commissioners that a family of a dialysis patient was hoping to get their relative admitted into Mountain View Nursing Home, which currently does not provide the service.

However, Mountain View's current policy is to deny people who require dialysis because the county doesn't have the resources to take care of them. Dialysis patients need to be transported to a dialysis center three days per week. The treatment itself requires specialized training to administer.

Currently, there are no dialysis centers in Carroll County — the nearest being in Rochester. The situation has got the commission thinking about ways it could bring a dialysis service company to the region.

Commissioner Dorothy Solomon asked if a nursing home staff member could bring residents at a dialysis center and then pick them up when the treatment's over.

But McKenzie replied there would be liability concerns with leaving a resident at a center, especially if the resident has cognitive problems. Admitting a dialysis patient is still problematic even if family members or an ambulance service agree to handle transportation because the nursing home would be responsible to provide transportation if the patient's ride falls through. "As soon as you admit that resident they are yours," said McKenzie.

Then commissioners wondered if a private dialysis company would be interested in using the old nursing home building when the new nursing home is finished in 2011.

"I think we ought to look into it," said Commission Chair David Sorensen. "There must be a lot of people on Carroll County who are on dialysis."

A private company many be tempted to come to Carroll County if it could locate in or near the nursing home, said Andrea Savisky, division program director of the National Kidney Foundation New England. A dialysis service company could even send its own nurse to operate the equipment. The two major companies in New Hampshire that provide dialysis services are DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care, she said.

A company called, NxStage Medical Care, of Lawrence, Mass., makes dialysis units patients can use at home.

Dialysis is a treatment given to people suffering from kidney failure and diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The process involves filtering the patient's blood stream.

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