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LVMC Licensed to Offer Inpatient Dialysis

  • Category: Press Release
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Nora Wallace
LVMC Licensed to Offer Inpatient Dialysis

After a rigorous certification process, Lompoc Valley Medical Center has been licensed by the California Department of Public Health to provide inpatient dialysis for patients with kidney-related complications.

“Dialysis programs are highly regulated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDPH,” explained Chief Operations Officer/Chief Nursing Officer Yvette Cope. “We have gone above and beyond the requirements. Our community members no longer need to travel to hospitals north or south when in need of hospitalization simply because we could not provide dialysis treatment.”

The certification was approved Thursday by a CDPH surveyor.

“The surveyor today was impressed by the cleanliness of our hospital and the knowledge of each of our staff on our Dialysis Program Committee,” Cope said.

The program is coordinated by a committee which includes Dr. Bindu Kamal, Dr. Andrew Ross and Registered Nurse and Lead Dialysis Coordinator Raymond Go. Other team members and Dialysis Registered Nurses are Teresa Go, Irene Russo, Melinda Capella, Sharon Syed and John Sullivan. Melinda DeHoyos is director of the Medical-Surgical Department where the unit is based.

Cope and the nephrologists said patients have been asking for LVMC to provide inpatient dialysis.

“We take care of dialysis patients at Cottage,” Dr. Ross said. “When they’re from Lompoc, it’s the wife or the husband or the son or the daughter driving every day from Lompoc to Cottage. It takes a toll. And sometimes, they’re in the hospital for one, two or many weeks.”

Patients will not come to LVMC specifically for dialysis but will be able to receive dialysis treatment if they are admitted as an inpatient for other medical reasons.

“The idea is, because we have a dialysis program, they’ll be able to stay here for their other medical needs,” Dr. Ross explained.

Dr. Kamal estimates there are more than 125 Lompoc Valley residents currently receiving dialysis treatment at various kidney centers or hospitals.

“Cottage is a known entity; it’s a comfort for the patients,” Dr. Kamal said. “With hard work and good care, patients will look to Lompoc Valley Medical Center as a known entity” for dialysis.

Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD, affects an estimated 10 percent of the global population and is the 16th leading cause of death, said program coordinator Go. The inpatient dialysis program is an interdisciplinary team that includes nephrologists, nephrology nurses, nurse informatics and numerous support staff, he said.

“This is our community,” Go said. “It was getting really frustrating for us, sending patients” to other hospitals.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Randall Michel said creating the Dialysis Program is part of an ongoing commitment by the hospital to offer more services, such as programs to treat stroke patients.

“It’s important for our hospital to be able to contribute to the countywide care of people,” Dr. Michel said. “These are things we didn’t have before. We want to be integrated. To have specialist nephrologists help us with this integration, that’s important.”