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Is anyone else having issues with DaVita?

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  • Is anyone else having issues with DaVita?

    Hi. My mother has been on At Home PD for about a year and a half. Her nephrologist is affiliated with DaVita so that's how we ended up here. During this time, they never really had handle on her F&E balance and her adequacy has been declining. She was dehydrated twice, hospitalized once (although it should have been more; she refused) and has never been really "stable" while in the care of DaVita. I'm going to try to break it down to a sort of time line for ease of reading and so that I don't leave anything out. Here we go:

    My 1st "heads up", so to speak, happened a few months into treatment. I was not impressed at all with her first few adequacy results and her labs were consistently out of whack. For some reason, we needed blood drawn from an outside lab. Her results were all normal (including her albumin). This made me skeptical about the DaVita lab. We also overheard the Dr. & RN talking to the woman who sees them before us on clinic days (we didn't mean to, but they had the door open and it's a small hallway. We couldn't help but hear), and she had the same imbalances as my mom. I understand that PD patients are prone to similar deficiencies, but.... I'm skeptical. It literally sounded like they were talking to my mom. And what about HIPPA?

    2nd: We switched to DaVita Rx and have never had such issues with her meds. She will go weeks without meds b/c they do not send them accordingly. They claim the MD hasn't approved it and that's about it. Even the bundled meds, which were delivered like clockwork before we switched, stopped coming on time. Not good.

    3rd: I was told she was in fluid overload. I disagreed. They changed her prescription and she became very dehydrated.

    4th: This has nothing to do with my mother, but it was interesting to get an outside view. I met my best friends cousin over the Summer who has been an at home pd patient for many years with a smaller company and doing great. Needless to say, it was taken over by DaVita several months prior to our meeting. He said he's "all messed up" now. He's never had such problems.

    5th: Our wonderful PD Nurse retired. And, because DaVita has chosen to place its priority with quantity instead of quality, they are significantly understaffed in the northeast (at least). They are placing the burden of our clinic as well as training a new nurse on an RN who already has her own clinic and patient load to deal with. This has led to a pretty hefty case of patient neglect.
    - Baxter, our delivery company, had to change our delivery dates. In order to make sure we had enough supplies to hold us over, they were going to make a
    special delivery. When I placed the order, they informed me that they couldn't send her extraneal bags b/c it needed to be renewed onto her prescription.
    The nurse was notified the next day, in person. Long story short my mom was off the extraneal for TEN DAYS before the clinic got its act together. She was very
    depleted by then. I had to change her prescription manually and deal with a nurse whose response to any of my concerns was, "What would you like me to do
    about it?"

    -We have been in "limbo" since Feb 2 (I'm writing this March 1). That was the exact word I used when I spoke to our Nephrologist. We had an appt on Feb 16th,
    but my mom was too weak to make it (d/t the sudden change in her solutions). I spoke to him on Feb 22. We heard from the nurse later that day. I found
    myself on the defensive. "The Dr. said you said this." and "The Dr. said you said that." Ummmmm..... Sorry? I didn't apologize. But, how unprofessional? Don't
    call me up attacking me b/c you're not doing your job. I get you're being over extended by your employer (DaVita) and that in healthcare, everyone blames the
    nurse, but I'm trying to provide quality of life for my mother. It's not the nurses fault. It's DaVita's. They are trying to grow too fast. $$$$$

    6th: Totally under qualified, undertrained RN's. My mother has yet to fully recover from DaVita's unacceptable lack of communication and prioritization. I don't know her current labs b/c they haven't been drawn since Feb. 2 and we have no pending appts. Her B/P has been low. Critically low at times. I informed the Nephrologist when I spoke with him on the 22nd and he said to have her drink broth. Last night, it was so low, I told her she really needs to go to the hospital. She refused (I don't blame her). But, I thought I ought to call the 'on-call' nurse to report this. I was fully prepared for her to ask me my mother's B/P and then instruct me to take her to the hospital. Here's what I got instead:

    -"Hello?" "Hello?" That's how she answered. I thought I had the wrong number. I had to ask if this was the on call nurse. I explained my situation. She asked if
    my mom was on B/P meds, I said no. She asked if i was using 1.5 bags. I said yes. That was about it. She said I need to call my clinic nurse tomorrow and let
    her know. She NEVER asked about the B/P (it was 70's/40's but was even lower at times). My mom is 240 lbs. She NEVER asked about her prescription. I told
    her I spoke with the nephrologist and he said to give her her broth, so that's what she proceeded to tell me to do. She NEVER asked for my mother's name. I
    asked if she needed our name so she could document the call. She said that they don't document these calls unless it's something tragic. WTF?

    As of right now, we still have no appts scheduled. No one from the clinic or from the nephrology office has been in contact with us since last week. DaVita Rx continues to mess up her medication delivery. The on call nurse has no idea what she's doing... All the while I'm watching my poor mother weaken and decline rapidly.

  • #2
    I am haing a problem with daviata too not many techs and the oines they have are not doing their job at east aurora davita


    • #3
      WOW, I didn't realize how lucky I am. I live in a very rural town in northern California and to tell you the truth, was totally surprised to find out that our little town had a dialysis center when I was told that I needed to start dialysis out of the blue about six months ago. I thought for sure I'd have to travel to the closest city to us, approximately 50 minutes away. At that time I was just so happy i didn't have to travel, I didn't care who the center was owned by.

      That was six months ago and I have to say that I don't have one bad word to say about DaVita for those six months. In fact, they have gone above and beyond the call of duty on most days to help me out with any problems i might have or have encountered.

      So like I said in the beginning, I feel lucky/blessed to have found DaVita. For me anyway. I am so sorry for both of you having so much trouble and problems with your centers. Kidney disease is bad on its own, you surely don't need to add more stress to the situation. I sure hope things get better soon for you two (and your mother).


      • #4
        Diet is extremely important as everyone knows. The DaVita computer is full of eat this, eat that. So, I went to a DaVita facility to find out where their Diet advisor is and was told "no where" several times until I got the message: "Go Away". Rude. Proper diet is the only "Pill" left for CKD so where is D's HELP?


        • #5
          Thanks, nanci6969. I'm glad to hear it's going well for you. Heidi124, I hear ya. From day 1 of our PD training, the DaVita "Dietitian" kept telling us, low potassium, low sodium, fluid restriction.... Month after month she had low sodium, low potassium levels and borderline dehydration. Then the Dr & nurse tell us that we don't need those restrictions on PD because the PD typically depletes those levels. So frustrating (and dangerous)! Don't worry about not having a diet advisor at your center. They don't know what they're doing anyway.
          Last edited by MizzTricia; 03-04-2017, 12:07 PM.


          • #6
            I'm on Hemodialysis and have been for almost three years. I've continuously gone to the same clinic. In the last 6 months I've noticed a steady decline. Lack of supplies, and unhappy staff. I love my techs, but when they are rushed and unappreciated by Davita it makes for stressful treatments. I wonder now if this will be the new norm. I spoke with the FA who is new about my concerns, and felt he was just saying what he thought I wanted to hear. We will see if thing change soon.


            • #7
              Originally posted by leroy450 View Post
              I am haing a problem with daviata too not many techs and the oines they have are not doing their job at east aurora davita
              Hi leroy450, I'm sorry to hear that you're having a problem at your local center. Have you had a chance to talk to the Facility Administrator? They are available to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the local center.

              You can also always reach out to the DaVita Guest Services team as well by calling 1-800-400-8331 or emailing

              Thank you, we hope you have a nice weekend!


              • #8
                helenfinch, may I ask where your clinic is located? Ours is on Long Island, NY. I'm just wondering if it's a regional thing or it's happening all over. Thanks. Sorry to hear. Unfortunately, I can relate.
                Last edited by MizzTricia; 03-04-2017, 12:11 PM. Reason: typo


                • #9
                  I read your post MizzTricia, and I hate to say that I am very familiar with your frustration. On one hand, I am very sorry for what you and your mother are going through. And on the other, It is nice to know that I am not alone with my frustration with Davita's lack of compassion and communication. Sometimes I feel like it would be better for Davita if I just died. So they would have room for the next patient to take my spot.

                  I have been doing dialysis for 9 years now. And my biggest problem with Davita is, most of the nurses I've dealt with haven't been nurses as long as I have been doing dialysis. But they continually want to argue with me about what is best for me. I am very involved with my care. And I take very good care of myself. And in my opinion, they don't like that. They want a patient to come in, shut up, do as your told, and don't question them in anyway. All they care about are some pre-conceived numbers they follow. Not caring about how I feel or what seems to be working for me. Last I checked, we are all unique individuals, and what might work for some, may not be best for others. When I started this journey with dialysis, I was told repeatedly, This is your care. We are here for you. That has not been the case.

                  I live on the west coast. Mountlake Terrace, Washington state. So in my opinion it is not a regional thing. It's a Davita thing. I have read many articles showing how financially successful Davita is and how quickly they are becoming more so. This success is not applied to the tech's and nurses, so the turn over rate is incredible. And we the patients are the only ones feeling this inconvenience.

                  I just want to say to all the dialysis patients on here. I know your frustration and struggles we deal with as dialysis patients. But please remember you know your body better than anyone. Listen to it. It will tell you what you need. Do your homework, and communicate with your doctor honestly. Keep fighting, even when it feels like you're all alone. If this message helps just one person, then I accomplished what I set out to do.

                  Much Love to my fellow fighters......
                  JB Hopf


                  • #10
                    Another thing I wanted to mention is that is a very informative site for dialysis patients. Just food for thought.......


                    • #11
                      im in cookeville tennessee having probs with R N S UNDER qualified says it lightly had same with pharmacy i use outside one now


                      • #12
                        JBHopf, that was expressed so beautifully! Thank you. You pointed out very important things that I was too overwhelmed to realize. They really do treat the patients like data. So many times we tell them that we don't think the current prescription is right for her and we're told that it's "protocol". Ugh! On top of everything they are already putting us through, we were running low on 1.5 bags (d/t dehydration which caused me to use more 1.5 than usual), the RN told me that it would cost DaVita $1000 to order us more. OK, I'll just use 2.5 & 4.25's and dehydrate her all over again. And their responses to any negative concerns are so corporate and rehearsed. Wrong profession for that. Where we live, it's either DaVita or Fresenius for Home PD. I googled both. Sadly, they are pretty parallel as far as client satisfaction goes, but we're switching regardless. I only hope DaVita makes it a smooth and quick transfer for us. Needless to say, I will keep you posted. Thanks for the link, I will be checking that out for sure. wgle363, I'm back to using an outside pharmacy as well. Good luck to us all (we need it)!


                        • #13
                          JBHopf , I forgot the most important thing I wanted to say. It would not be better for anyone if you died. I know you meant that in jest, but to even get to the point of saying something like that, DaVita needs to reevaluate itself stat! ESRD is not a death sentence BECAUSE of dialysis. If DaVita is failing to do it's job, fire them. Easier said than done, I know. But they can't be the only providers in your area. As I mentioned, I just started the move to a different company. If DaVita makes it difficult and further delays my mothers dialysis care, a lawyer will be called. DaVita is not going to kill my mother because of it's greed. I copied & pasted your post because I want to be able to read it again. It is a great reminder to listen to what my mom's body is saying and not allow the bullies at DaVita to instill self doubt in me or her. I can't thank you enough for contributing to this thread.


                          • #14
                            First off to Mizz Tricia, Has your Nephrologist ever suggested your mom go to Hemodialysis?? I did PD for the first year and a half and had nothing but problems leading up to my membrane failing. Once I began Hemodialysis, after a few treatments I started feeling much better. I have been on Hemodialysis 7+ yrs now. I work 5 days a week still and travel for vacation when needed. Now to my problem with my Davita clinic, Orangevale, CA is first a Social Worker who absolutely has no knowledge of what he is doing. For months I have asked for help in finding some financial assistance and he has no clue about anything. I think I can qualify for some type of Government or State assistance program because I only work 28-30 hours per week. It is beyond stressful living paycheck to paycheck these days. The original Social Worker at my Clinic was well informed. Second, my Clinic constantly making changes to the patients schedules. I scheduled my working hours on my dialysis days to correspond with my treatments and have constantly told my clinic not to change my schedule. They did it any way which has now caused constant problems with my on and off times. Another issue is with under staffing. It seems that whenever a technician calls in and can't be there, Orangevale doesn't make any attempt to bring in someone to cover. Also, the Head Nurse really doesn't help on the floor unless there is an absolute emergency. Team work should be the focus, not "that's not my job".


                            • #15
                              Dear Miss Tricia,
                              First of all I am sorry that you are having so many issues with DaVita.

                              We have been getting treatments at DaVita for over 4 years and we have not had one complaint. After receiving treatment at Fresenius for over 2 years, we had the worst 2 years ever. We had everything from shocking out to poor treatment, to horrible cannulations i can go on.
                              But DaVita has been terrific. I have had treatment in Scyamore Illinois, Westerville Ohio, Amarillo Texas, and various clinics through Southern CA.
                              My recommendation to you would be to speak to your clinician. Express your concerns and discruntles. If they are not addressed look for another clinic.
                              You should have gone and toured the clinics and met the staff before your treatment commenced. Check their ratings and if it doesnt fit move.Most all clinics fit a person and there is nothing wrong with shopping clinics. Call the state see if there are any infractions.
                              I did all my homework before moving my mom. I am proud to say that all the dieticians at our DaVitas have been extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
                              If you mess up on your fluid restrictions. They tell you. If you are out of range on your labs, they tell you.
                              You must follow your diet and fluid restrictions. DaVita is here to help us sustain ourselves. If we are not getting what we need, we must take the initiative and steps to make our situations better. If your meds situatuon was working better before DaVita Rx, then go back to your old meds system.
                              However we are a Hemodialysis patient. So thinhs could be differeny. Best of luck in the future.