Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Whooping cough suspected in employee at Lawrence dialysis clinic

November 21, 2012


A Lawrence dialysis clinic is providing vaccines and antibiotics to its staff and patients after an employee was suspected of contracting pertussis, or whooping cough.

Dr. Scott Solcher, the medical director of the DaVita Lawrence dialysis clinic, said a staff member had been sent home and immediately treated because of suspicions of whooping cough, though that person has not been formally diagnosed with pertussis at this point.

"We're treating everybody, anyway, just to be sure," Solcher said.

Solcher said it was unclear if any patients had been exposed to the potentially infected staff member, but the clinic is offering to reimburse patients for the cost of antibiotics and a pertussis vaccination. He noted that most people have already been vaccinated against whooping cough, as well. The clinic will pay for those people to re-vaccinate.

Until recently, the clinic at 330 Arkansas St. was known as Kansas Dialysis Services.


mr_right_wing 5 years ago

That wasn't exactly the story this morning; if patients wanted antibiotics or a booster they could get it AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. I'm not sure about this "we're treating everybody anyway..." stuff; this morning it was OPTIONAL, no one was being told they should or should not, but if they wanted to (and could pay) the orders would be provided.

I made a tip to this paper about that and just hours later got a call saying DaVita would reimburse for any out of pocket expenses for antibiotics or boosters.

Interesting how the light of the media can change things. Thanks LJW!!

Christine Anderson 5 years ago

Solcher was a jerk as a resident 15 years ago, and if he initially provided false info to the LJW, he still is. I am appalled that any of these patients were exposed. (presumably) They are immunocompromised to begin with. If indeed the employee is found to have whooping cough, I sure hope he/she didn't contract it as a result or refusing to be vaccinated, or his/her parents refusing to vaccinate their child.

So, the clinic is "reimbursing" patients for the antibiotics? They should be paying for them outright. Dialysis clients are most likely not in a position to easily hand over the cost of what would be kick-butt meds.

cabocrazed 5 years ago

And you're absolutely sure that they didn't contract the illness by refusing to be vaccinated or didn't get vaccinated by their parents? You've personally had that 1:1 conversation with them? There is growing movement of people refusing to get vaccinated, citing a multitude of reasons - google vaccination refusal - and you mighty learn something.

15 years was a long time ago. People I worked with were jerks due to lack of maturity. Ive known Scott for over 10 years and he's a great doctor and a pretty cool person to be around.

headdoctor 5 years ago

Knowing the Doctor and being treated by him are two different things. The Doctors and especially the company that owns the clinic are not nice people. They have ran off perfectly good doctors who didn't like their business philosophy. I will say in their defense that dealing with dialysis patients can be a very difficult and trying most of the time.

As far as the clinic paying for antibiotics they will in the long run be out very little. Kidney failure is an automatic disability. One way or another the clinic will get paid something from Medicare, Medicade, or private insurance. The only patients that might get stuck for the cost are those waiting for their disability to kick in or for their supplemental policies to be in effect. Those who do not have any means of payment wouldn't need to worry in this clinic. Non qualifiers would already be deceased because this clinic will not start treating patients if they don't have any foreseeable way of of paying and yes there are a few that do not get covered. With the various delays in Kansas for processing I don't even want to think about how many may have died from this clinic alone for refusing treatment to them.

cabocrazed 5 years ago

That's a ridiculous and slanderous statement. If they killed anyone, then charge them with murder. Otherwise, it's slander. How about looking at it this way - if you are in medicine, and I'll make the assumption by your tag you are - how many dialysis patients do you know are compliant with their treatment? How many dialysis patients do you know take their medications or follow their diets as they should?

Thought so,

headdoctor 5 years ago

With out writing a novel about it I would think that my statement of "I will say in their defense that dealing with dialysis patients can be very difficult and trying most of the time." would be sufficient. The lack of patient compliance is just one factor in why the life expectancy of dialysis patients isn't very long.

If you are as up to speed on dialysis as you sound then you would also know that in medicine kidney failure gets treated much differently than most other areas of medicine. Things happen all the time that given a different setting would result in arrests, license loss and or law suits. And yes, this clinic as well as other clinics they own have turned patients away or banned them from their clinics. There are not that many clinics in this area that are not owned by the same company. In some cases those patients can go the emergency room and get dialyzed but that is only a temporary solution. What is funny is many times the company doing the dialysis for the hospital is the clinic. The only difference is where the dialysis occurs and then it is the hospital risking if the patient can't pay.

As far as the good Dr. goes, he was and as far as I know still is wrapped up with the Cotton-O'Neil bunch in Topeka which also means Stormont-Vail has some influence on some of the activity. The Doctors also have their fingers into the clinic. Even if he was a diamond in the rough his patients still have to be dialyzed at the clinic. If he is operating in accordance with the company rules, at the very least he is guilty by association.

cabocrazed 5 years ago

It seems like the ones that live a long time are compliant to the 100th degree. They take their meds, they keep their appointment at the center, they don't commit dietary indiscretion. Then you have the other ones who just don't care - they don't take their meds, eat tons of salty foods, skip their dialysis appointments, then show up in the Emergency Department wanting to get dialyzed now - and everyone should jump through hoops to accommodate them.

Nine times out of ten the hospital eats the cost of the emergency visit - not the optimal situation but these patients utilize the Emergency Department for their health care and that's one of the reasons healthcare is in the predicament that it is in.

I completely agree about MOST of the Cotton O Neil/Stormont bunch - it's all about money - especially the surgeons and cardiologists.

headdoctor 5 years ago

Putting all else aside. Kidney failure is a horrible diagnosis for a patient to deal with mentally and physically not to mention very little hope of a decent prognosis. Only a handful of patients each year get the chance at a kidney transplant. Non compliant patients are a mixed bag to deal with. There are those who are mad or bitter that instead of dying they were talked into starting treatments. Many are impaired mentally. Most of them do not want to accept the situation they are in. Some have lived a lifetime of indiscretion and will not change. There are a few who know they are dying and decide to enjoy themselves when they can even though it may cause a much more harsh dialysis treatment the next time if not outright shorten their life. I would also add that I really believe some patients as time goes on decides they don't like feeling bad most of the time dealing with all the effects of dialysis and really do want to die. They don't have the nerve built up to override self preservation or perhaps some religious belief to actually refuse treatment but will do what they can to sabotage it. I guess the thinking is that one way is committing suicide and justifying that the sabotage somehow is different.

mr_right_wing 5 years ago

Davita is sending someone from the KC regional office to speak with me tomorrow. I felt it only fair to update my earlier post with this latest 'development'.

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