Public Hospital Dialysis Patients Win an Important Vote Against For-Profits and Privatization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 1, 2015

(NEW YORK, NY) — The Committee on Establishment and Project Review failed today to win enough votes to recommend the application of Big Apple Dialysis Management, LLC to proceed in its takeover of four chronic dialysis clinics in the public hospital system run by the Health and Hospitals Corporation.   With three votes against and one abstention, the recommendation fell far short.

“Patients before profits! This is a step to ensuring that access to quality care is first and foremost for all HHC patients,” said Anne Bové, RN and President of the HHC/Mayorals Executive Council of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). NYSNA represents 8,000 RNs in NYC’s public hospitals.

At the center of the issue, patients, nurses, doctors and other caregivers, as well as public health experts, submitted data and provided testimony to the Committee, part of the NYS Department of Health's Public Health and Health Planning Council, on patient mortality.  Current data gathered by the federal government showed that 25% of patient morality rates at Big Apple Dialysis clinics were “worse than expected,” or at the bottom 10% of dialysis clinics in the United States. All of the HHC clinics at issue operate with average or above average mortality rates.

“Last year, I stood with nurses and healthcare experts in opposition to Big Apple’s proposal to operate in city hospitals,” testified Public Advocate Letitia James before the Committee. “We know from experience here in New York that privatizing government services leads to higher costs and worse services overall. Big Apple has underperformed, and there's significant evidence to suggest they put product before patients. This is not acceptable to us, and this is not acceptable to the people of New York. We demand real review of this proposal, and real answers from Big Apple concerning their troubling statistics, and the overall quality of care they provide.”

For-profit Big Apple Dialysis and its parent, Atlantic Dialysis Management Services, operate 12 chronic dialysis clinics in the New York City area.  The group also operates acute dialysis services within several HHC facilities.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 37,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.

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