Davita clinic in Longview shuts down temporarily after letter from federal agency cites ‘immediate jeopardy’ to patient health

Video: Davita clinic in Longview shuts down temporarily after letter from federal agency cites

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The Davita Dialysis Center on Fredonia Street in Longview is temporarily shut down after receiving a letter from a federal agency warning that they would no longer receive Medicare payments unless issues which “represent immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety” are addressed.

According to a representative with Texas Health and Human Services Commission, staff at DaVita chose to close the center temporarily after a re certification survey on Aug. 31.

“Our clinic is undergoing renovations, and we have temporarily closed in an abundance of caution to ensure our patients' safety,” said Courtney Culpepper, a spokeswoman for DaVita. “During this time, we have arranged for all patients to continue treatment with alternative clinics, secured transportation for all who need it, and are visiting our patients at their guest facilities to ensure their comfort.”

A letter from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to the Longview center’s facility administrator states the center “no longer meets the requirements for participation in the Medicare program because of deficiencies that represent immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.”

KLTV received the letter and the plan of correction form from CMS through an open records request.

The plan of correction shows the center is out of compliance with infection control and physical environment.

Officials conducted an unannounced onsite re-certification survey on Aug. 27 and conducted an exit conference on Aug. 31.

The 59-page report cites numerous issues with flooring, ceiling tiles, countertops, doors, missing rails, cleanliness and many other problems with the physical building.

The report also states the facility’s dietitian did not exceed the patient ratio for three of the three months which were audited. The state requirement is 125 patients per dietitian. However, the dietitian served 137 patients.

The report also states the facility did not follow its own policies to ensure prevention of cross-contamination between patients and staff. Issues with lack of handwashing sinks, staff chewing gum in patient treatment and failing to clean sharps containers are among the problems listed.

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The letter states DaVita had until Monday to come up with an acceptable plan off correction to “ensure a timely revisit.” The completion for the plan can be no later than Oct. 11. If the plan is not executed by then, termination from the Medicare program will come on Oct. 19.

KLTV reached out to the DaVita corporate office on Friday and has not received a statement.

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