Posts Tagged ‘Patient Complaints’

Nephrology needs more compassion—and less compliance

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

This blog post was made by Dori Schatell, MS, Executive Director, Medical Education Institute on May 29th, 2015. It was originally posted on Home Dialysis Central  

Instead of insisting that people must “comply,” offering understanding and compassion may go further toward helping people take on the self-management role that is so vital to long-term success with chronic disease.

At the NKF Spring Clinicals meeting in March, a comment I was told that someone made at the microphone during a session still bothers me months later. The gist of it was: “Why does all of the responsibility for improving outcomes fall on clinicians—where is the patient in all of this?” [Good point, but it goes on…] “I lose money if my patients don’t reach the quality targets. Why can’t we fine the patients if they don’t do their part?—and audience members applauded!

Really?! We really have nephrologists who believe that punishing patients for not “complying” with their orders is going to improve outcomes? It seems that our community may need a refresher course in compassion. Continue reading “Nephrology needs more compassion—and less compliance” »

Medicare ESRD Network Is Still At It – They’re Supposed to Help

Monday, January 13, 2014 | By Scott | No Comments

If you want to get a headache, read through the official
Medicare ESRD Network Organizations Chapter 7 – ESRD Complaints and Grievances
here is a copy.

A couple of highlights are below. You may want to consult a lawyer to guide you through this legalize document with cross references that no normal reader, let alone someone who is distress from poor and sometimes humiliating treatment, can truly understand. Will someone in the ESRD please translate this document so it is useful to anyone seeking help!?

It is the responsibility of the Medicare ESRD Network to assure that an impartial review of grievances by Network staff and the MRB occurs without conflict of interest.

But we’ve seen so many instances where the ESRD is creating documents and forms to protect their interests.

Is this guidance or a roadmap for confusion?

Is this guidance or a roadmap for confusion?

The Network shall assume a proactive role in the prevention, facilitation, and resolution of complaints and grievances, including implementing educational programs that will assist facility staff in handling difficult situations.

Why doesn’t the Medicare ESRD Network implement programs to dismiss dialysis providers who practice unethical procedures?

The Network advises anonymous complainants or grievants that their complaints/grievances will be investigated but the Network will be unable to report back to them without their name and address.

So with the fear of blacklisting or undue retribution, if it is anonymous, how do we know any action has been taken?

170 – Personal Representative
A personal representative is an individual designated by a court of competent jurisdiction or by the beneficiary, as evidenced by a document signed by such beneficiary, to act on his/her behalf. An individual/patient/beneficiary may designate whomever he/she chooses as his/her personal representative by executing a Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney, or a witnessed, signed, and dated proxy statement. The patient representative may act for the person they represent in any capacity that is authorized. The personal representative can be authorized to conduct a single transaction or to assume ongoing responsibility for an identified purpose such as a financial transaction(s), healthcare decision(s), ….


180 – Conflict of Interest
The Network ensures that a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest does not exist among members of a complaint/grievance committee, a MRB committee, or a board of directors handling a grievance. Any individual who has direct involvement with the complainant/grievant or the provider under investigation, whether it is a financial, professional or personal relationship, should be excluded from participation in the investigation and resolution of the complaint/grievance.

See Above!

If you really want to see the complete document, download the entire document, good luck.

Medicare ESRD Network Organizations, Chapter 7 –ESRD Complaints and Grievances

Dialysis Patients being discharged with no appeal, no assistance from CMS & ESRD

Thursday, September 19, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:21 PM
To: Conway, Patrick H. (CMS/CCSQ)
Subject: Patients being discharged with no appeal.

Dr. Conway,

I have tried to reach you in the past. It appears that there is a trend, that has been going on for years. It has been allowing dialysis units to discharge patients for no cause, even with creative paperwork to discharge the patient unfairly. Then when a patient is discharged the patient is blackballed at any other clinic, denying them entrance. A patient is denied a transplant and used as a payback, by labeling them non-compliant…without the patients knowledge..It is a nightmare to be a patient on dialysis.

CMS promised me that they were not going to allow anymore discharges of patients unless they are violent. These Nephrologists are now dismissing them, because they can. I am getting a record number of discharges myself.

I have one currently in Nashville and have contacted CMS at the highest levels. This patient was dismissed from a Nephrologist from Vanderbilt Medical University, a co-director of Nephrology Clinical trials. Which receives Federal dollars. He is partners with Davita.

These are just some of the discharged patients that are recent, with CMS sitting on their hands. I will not insult you with the fact that the ESRD Networks are the main players in these discharges and provide the legal way to “dump” a patient. I thought they were for quality of care of the patients.

Patients speaking out on care are fearful of retaliation.

Patients discharged have no appeal process and die. CMS has been contacted on every discharge and has sat by and did nothing.

Patients are not allowed to see their charts in many clinic…

If your interested the information is below on how to reach me. I also would invite you to go on and go to patient stories and the news with the radio interviews of patients. This industry has been allowed to do pretty much as it pleases, CMS standing by silent. This is not about healthcare and the money for patient care is going to industry “bonuses”.

I am seeking help for patients getting quality of care and to have rights in these clinics. I have done thousands of complaints, with no help from CMS. It is about time to ensure patients have rights with qualified workers. It is getting where my caseload with discharged patients and abusive practices are on the rise.

Another trend is that we have had patients have full fledged strokes in clinics and the staff will not call 911, but will call the family. Infection control is another area that is costing lives and medicare money. They simply have them go to the ER for care and they are infection free.

Arlene Mullin-Tinker
Dialysis Advocates LLC

Download their reply, it isn’t very comforting.


Radio Show with Chili Most on WVFG 107.5

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Dialysis Advocates has provided Chili Most with a number of patients across the nation to interview. It is an opportunity to have dialysis patients tell their stories, and hearing it in their own word has so much more impact.

If any patients want to be included and tell their story, please go to Dialysis Advocates and Contact Us, you’ll have complete privacy using our form.

On the radio with Dr. Kennedy and Reverend Floyd Harris

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Dialysis Advocates has been featured many times on blogtalkradio with Dr. Kennedy and Reverend Floyd Harris –  Rev. Harris and Dr. Kennedy are human and civil rights activists who cover news and offer viewpoints on issues of concern. 

This program has been an effective outlet for patients to speak out and tell their stories in a safe environment.

With their help, we are letting the public know what is truly going on in these clinics where patients are afraid to complain or speak out in fear of reprisal and dismissal.

Some of our past programs on Real Talk With The 1 Dr’s

Concerned About Your Fellow Patients? Just Don’t Do It!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

This is from a Patient who was reprimanded for being concerned about a fellow patient – June 9, 2013

Here is what I get for questioning my nurse about her NOT CALLING 911 FOR A PATIENT! Proof that if you are involved with your healthcare they will do anything to get you out! See, how they always start that you have a behavioral problem! My problem is that I asked, “when do you call 911?”  I was called into a conference room as I was leaving and handed this document!








So Much Has Been Happening

Monday, July 29, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Where have the last 6 months gone?  Sorry we haven’t been posting enough on the website News, even though our Facebook page has been very busy.  For those of you who are not receiving those updates, please go to our page and Like us so you will be able to be informed through multiple channels.

Recently we have added a Discussion Board for private and anonymous posts for patients, family members, and workers to voice their questions, comments, and concerns.  It’s very simple to begin, and you can sign-up using a nickname.  Go to to begin.

Weekly we receive e-mails and phone calls from patients and family members concerning facility infractions and intimidation.  Please keep them coming, as an individual you have very little power, as we combine our voices, and experiences, we are becoming a force that is exposing corruption and injustice within the Dialysis Industry and the providers themselves.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | By arlene | No Comments

From: []
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 1:06 PM
To: Russell, Crystal (CMS/CQISCO)
Cc: carl ginsburg
Subject: RE: Omni Davita unit in Houston


It appears that you are reluctant to help with this issue. It is standard policy that the person making the complaint receives the 2567’s. So if I am understanding correctly, I have to go through the public information act?
Since when did this change? Does that apply to the patient that was dismissed receiving a copy?

I am hoping that CMS is taking this complaint serious. It has almost cost a woman her life.I am hoping that I will be looking for my complaint number on this new complaint.

Arlene Mullin-Tinker

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: Omni Davita unit in Houston
From: “Russell, Crystal (CMS/CQISCO)”
Date: Mon, September 10, 2012 9:59 am
To: “”
, “Waldron, Patrick (DSHS)”
, “Wolfe, Daniel (HHS/OGC)”

Cc: Chris Reynolds , “Adams, Pamela
(DSHS)” , “”

Ms. Mullin-Lane:

It is my understanding from the emails that you were provide directions on how to request the information. There are specific rules that must be follow-up when requesting information. Please follow the instructions provided.


Dialysis Senate Subcommittee – 2000 hearing. Arlene Mullen Testimony

Monday, September 24, 2012 | By Scott | 1 Comment

Thank you for this opportunity to be heard. The foregoing testimony represents how End Stage Renal Disease and Kidney Dialysis has evolved into a National Use and Abuse of Medicare Dollars and Dialysis Patients. This National Abuse frequently includes unreported patient deaths that are not related to their chronic disease, but to unethical and immoral practices of facilities.

Like so many others in the dialysis field, I was just a healthcare worker who received “on the job” training. I am not licensed or registered with any state or healthcare organization. I had direct and complete hands on care responsibilities for patients including inserting needles into their veins or graft in order to connect them to their dialysis machine to initiate their lengthy treatment. I, like many others at this level, did not have a comprehensive understanding of the renal diseases and process, the psychosocial problems, and most of all, the dangers of the equipment used and problems associated with the chemicals used in the reprocessing of dialyzers.

After months and months of witnessing the improper use of equipment, supplies, drugs and above all watching licensed professionals to permit these acts to proceed at the cost of the patients health and welfare brought numerous concerns. I followed the chain of command with no results. My conscience would not let me be silent and I filed my complaints with the Region 10 HCFA Office, which violated my confidentiality, and advised the Renal Network to handle my complaint that ironically was about them. I did file a formal complaint with the State Department of Health in which the investigation discovered that the State does not regulate End Stage Renal Disease Facilities and, therefore, could not impose sanctions. Continue reading “Dialysis Senate Subcommittee – 2000 hearing. Arlene Mullen Testimony” »