MASSENA - Massena Memorial Hospital is in preliminary discussions with a Massachusetts-based company to take over operation of their renal dialysis unit, 290 Main St.
Its all in the initial discussions, hospital spokeswoman Tina R. Corcoran said. Theyve been evaluating it. They just initiated the discussion. Everything right now is just in discussion.
Hospital officials initiated discussions with American Renal Associates, LLC, Beverly, Mass., about the potential operation of the dialysis center. She said company officials and hospital administration met Wednesday with MMH Dialysis Center Medical Director Darlena James and staff to talk about the benefits and plans of partnering with American Renal in the future.
She described the move as part of a continued strategic financial initiative for the hospitals future. Hospital officials are currently exploring their options to stave off potential bankruptcy in 2017, including the conversion of the facility from a municipal hospital to a not-for-profit organization. If they maintained the status quo, hospital officials say they will not have sufficient funds to remain open by 2017.
American Renal, which was organized 14 years ago, operated 155 centers in 23 states and the District of Columbia. They recently acquired the dialysis operations of hospitals in Plattsburgh and Elizabeth, and are in the administrative process of acquiring an additional unidentified north country hospital dialysis program in the coming months.
MMH officials said American Renal brings the complete range of disciplines and resources necessary for the successful development and operation of high quality dialysis programs including clinical, regulatory, technical, quality assurance, billing and reimbursement, general accounting, human resource, purchasing, marketing, legal counsel and compliance.
Patients would not notice a change if American Renal took over operation of the facility, according to Ms. Corcoran, who said Ms. James has been and will continue to update patients as the hospital moves forward with discussions.
Theres be no change for the patient, she said.
She said company officials have also indicated the key to continued success will be to retain the centers staff.
They understand that the expertise that our staff has is important for the program to continue, that for the success we have it, its very important to maintain the staff we have, Ms. Corcoran said.
Since its in the initial stages, she said there is a lot more discussion that must still take place before a decision is made. And, if a decision is made to allow American Renal to take over the operations, there would be other processes such as submitting a Certificate of Need for the state Department of Health approval.