The future of dialysis treatment in Jackson County

Local News

Hope is not lost for dialysis patients in Jackson County.

Local 4 News started investigating last week when we found out from a viewer that the new Jackson County Regional Health Center being built in Maquoketa won’t have a dialysis treatment center. There is one now in the current hospital.

We followed up with hospital managers. They told us there are no plans to include a dialysis facility in the new building because of cost issues, according to Curt Coleman, President of Jackson County Regional Health Center.

They’d been renting out the space to third party providers since the 2008 recession to provide those services. Coleman says they’re offering Fresenius Medical Company, the current provider, a spot on their lot to build a new unit.

“The things that it takes to be successful in dialysis in the current state of where dialysis is going to makes it very difficult for rural hospitals to create a financially sustainable model,” Coleman said. “And I think the last thing that we would want to do in a community is start a service, and find that we’re not able to sustain it, and have to discontinue it again. We recognize that dialysis is an important service, for our rural communities, for all communities. We’re trying to take the actions necessary to encourage Fresenius to stay within the community.”

Coleman also said that the hospital wanted to keep Fresenius on the property so that patients can be moved into hospital care quickly if need be.

Fresenius could not be reached for comment.

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