Posted on: September 6th, 2011
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About a dozen immigrants (and another dozen U.S. citizens) suffering from renal failure were refused treatment at an Atlanta clinic operated by Fresenius Medical Care and advised to wait until their conditions deteriorated enough to justify life-saving care in an emergency room.
This is a result of a deadlock in negotiations between Atlanta’s public hospital and the world’s largest dialysis provider.
These patients, rather than receiving dialysis three times a week, which is the standard protocol for cleansing their blood of toxins, they must wait until they are in sufficiently serious jeopardy to trigger the federal law that requires free hospital care in a life-threatening emergency.
About 2 years ago the management at Grady Memorial hospital, Atlanta’s main hospital that cared for the uninsured, shut its outpatient dialysis clinic due to severe financial losses, which then cause the displacements of 60 uninsured immigrants.
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Medicare or any type of government assistance programs, and few qualify for private insurance. Grady continued to pay for the treatment of these patient at Fresenius Medical Care. The contract has now expired between Grady and Fresenius and no one would treat these patients.
Sad matter indeed. Both parties fight on who would be the appropriate party to pay for these and if no one pays, they will probably end up at Grady anyway getting emergency treatments for life-threatening conditions (which will probably end up costing Grady more).