-The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) granted the Salida Hospital
District final approval today for a hospital-based renal dialysis center
at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center.
The Heart of the Rockies Dialysis Center is located on the second floor
of the Salida hospital. The unit is owned by the medical center but managed
by Sanderling Renal Services. Sanderling specializes in bringing high
quality dialysis and nephrology (kidney) services to rural communities.
End-stage renal disease facilities, also known as dialysis units, must
meet specific safety and quality standards established by CMS in order
to participate in the Medicare program. In Colorado, the Colorado Department
of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) conducts surveys of the state's
dialysis units on behalf of CMS.
On Sept. 1, 2016, the Heart of the Rockies Dialysis Center passed the
initial survey by CDPHE. At that point, the dialysis center was licensed
to treat patients but not yet approved to participate in the Medicare program.
State surveyors review many policies and procedures during an initial
survey. They tour the new facility to make sure the design of its physical
layout considers infection control, safety, and emergency preparedness.
They also examine record keeping and policies and interview key personnel,
including the unit's nurses, technicians, administrative staff and
medical director. David Kanar, M.D., an internist and nephrologist on
the hospital's medical staff, serves as medical director.
CDPHE completed a revisit to the initial health survey on Dec. 21 and
a life safety code survey on Jan. 3. No deficiencies were cited. The effective
date of participation in the Medicare program for the dialysis unit is
retroactive to Jan. 3.
"The most recent community health needs assessment conducted by our
hospital identified dialysis as the top service that residents wanted
to see available locally," said hospital CEO Bob Morasko. "Local
residents with end-stage kidney disease have been traveling to Canon City,
Alamosa or the Front Range three days a week for dialysis treatment. This
can be a real hardship, especially in bad weather. We are very pleased
that we can now provide this service locally."
Charlie Terrill, 86, of Buena Vista was Dr. Kanar's first patient
when he began practicing in Chaffee County in 2014 and was selected to
be the first dialysis patient.
Diagnosed with end-stage renal disease five years ago, Terrill was travelling
to Denver for treatment. "I've been hospitalized many times and
had several surgeries. When you live so far from treatment, it's difficult,"
said Terrill. "After what I've been through, I was ecstatic learning
we'd have a dialysis center here."
The Heart of the Rockies Dialysis Center is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m. For more information, call 719-530-2117.
Photo: Charlie Terrill, 86, of Buena Vista was the first patient treated
at Heart of the Rockies Dialysis Center.