KINGSBURY — A new dialysis center is on its way to becoming reality in Washington County.
A two-story home was torn down at 3739 Burgoyne Ave. in October to make way for the new 7,464-square-foot facility, according to the center’s building permit.
Kingsbury Town Supervisor Dana Hogan said he’d been advised that the groundbreaking would be in the spring.
Liberty RC, a licensed operator of chronic renal dialysis centers in New York, acting on behalf of the Cleve Hill Dialysis Center, originally filed a certificate of need application with the state Department of Health in 2016, outlining how Washington County is lacking a dialysis center. Dialysis involves treatments to help people with kidney problems.
In 2014 there were 65 Washington County residents with End Stage Renal Disease, according to the certificate of need application.
“In addition, Washington County has a rapidly growing elderly population,” the application noted. “The elderly use dialysis services at a higher rate than any other age group. The need for dialysis is expected to grow in the future with the overall aging population, as well as the increasing prevalence of diabetes. The applicant will employ an outreach program to ensure that all traditionally underserved residents will have access to this needed service.”
The property on Burgoyne Avenue, the application added, would be purchased by Genesis KC Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners. It plans to call the center Hudson Falls Dialysis.
The state Department of Health approved the certificate of need in July 2016, despite a letter from Glens Falls Hospital President and CEO Dianne Shugrue on July 28, 2016, protesting it. The Post-Star obtained the letter and other documents through a Freedom of Information Law request.
Glens Falls Hospital used to own a dialysis center on Broad Street in the city, which Shugrue pointed out is about 4.1 miles from where the new dialysis center would be constructed.
She said 95 patients from Washington County received dialysis treatment at Glens Falls Hospital in 2015, accounting for 33 percent of the center’s total volume and $2,598,830 in revenue.
“This for-profit dialysis center will be in direct competition with the Glens Falls Hospital Dialysis Center,” Shugrue wrote. “We will lose hemodialysis volume/revenue as well as the associated ancillaries that go with it (i.e. interventional radiology and surgical procedures). If our demographics and referrals patterns hold true, the patients in this proposed new dialysis center will present with emergency conditions to the Glens Falls Hospital Emergency Department as it is the local community hospital that serves the geographic population for these patients.”
Shugrue also took issue with DaVita HealthCare Partners’ plan to partner with Saratoga Hospital as a backup hospital for the proposed extension clinic, despite Saratoga Hospital being 23 miles away.
Erin Hammond, a representative with the office of governmental affairs with the Department of Health, wrote in an email that “the project was approved because it was financial(y) feasible, the operator is in current compliance, and there is a remaining need (of) 17 stations prior to the approval (3 after this approval). Currently there are NO dialysis centers in Washington County thus requiring all the residents needing dialysis to travel outside the county.”
Glens Falls Hospital announced late last year that it was selling its Broad Street dialysis center to Dialysis Clinic Inc., based out of Nashville. Shugrue said in a press release that DCI shares the hospital’s “community values and commitment to quality care.”
Tracy Mills, vice president of hospital planning, had also said last December that the hospital and DCI provide backup support for each other, and they “look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship.”
Neither the Glens Falls Hospital nor DCI returned The Post-Star‘s multiple requests for comment over the last week about the new Washington County dialysis center or where their relationships currently stand.
Meanwhile, Genesis KC Development was issued its building permit by Washington County on July 16. DaVita Healthcare declined to provide a timeline for the center’s construction, though the building permit lasts one year unless it is renewed.
A spokesperson for DaVita HealthCare said the center will include 14 dialysis chairs and one home peritoneal dialysis training room. It could serve up to 60 patients. She declined to provide more information, stating that details were still being finalized.
The building permit shows that the dialysis center will be constructed with steel and have a stucco exterior. It will be one floor with 35 rooms, one full bathroom, three half bathrooms and one electric fireplace. The certificate of need application states the project cost is in the realm of $2,812,169, though the application had then anticipated the building to be completed in November 2017.
Hogan said as long as all planning, zoning and state Health Department requirements are met, the town looks forward to the center’s presence in the community.