Focus on Patient Care Brings Industry Together to Fight Cris

|Mar 31|magazine21 min read

WALTHAM, Mass. and DENVER, March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) and DaVita Inc. (DVA) today announced a collaboration in response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which aims to support the broader kidney care community by offering isolation capacity for dialysis patients who are or may be COVID-19 positive.

In this unprecedented time, the two companies are working together in cooperation with U.S. Renal Care, American Renal Associates, Satellite Healthcare, and other dialysis organizations. Together, they are creating a nationwide contingency plan with a goal of helping to maintain continuity of care for dialysis patients by creating isolation cohort capacity that can be accessed by other dialysis providers.

Dialysis patients represent one of the most at-risk populations, particularly during these dynamic times. They must receive treatment multiple days a week for three to four hours at a time to stay alive, which presents a unique challenge for patients and their care teams when social distancing is required to reduce the possibility of community spread and infection.

"In this national crisis, our healthcare professionals have unwavering commitment and dedication to our patients," said Javier Rodriguez, CEO for DaVita Inc. "Dialysis is not optional, it is life-sustaining. In these trying times, we think that by working collaboratively, we can combine resources, clinical expertise, and physical space to help ensure all patients across the kidney care community have access to life-sustaining care in the safest environment possible."

A critical aim of this collaboration is to keep dialysis patients out of the hospital whenever possible, freeing up limited hospital resources. The companies are focused on ensuring there are enough nurses, social workers, dietitians, care technicians, and available space to treat all dialysis patients, including those who are or may be infected with COVID-19 – in a manner that does not unnecessarily expose the hundreds of thousands of other patients who entrust them with their care.

"We are committed to doing whatever we can to keep our care teams, patients, and physicians safe," said Bill Valle, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care North America. "The collective expertise and capabilities of our companies are benefitting patients and the healthcare system as a whole. Together, we can make a more meaningful, positive impact."

Dialysis organizations have designated capacity in select clinics across their national networks to create isolation units and shifts, which will treat patients who are or may be COVID-19 positive separately. This collaboration will help safeguard care givers, will conserve personal protective equipment and other important supplies, and will create an environment that provides excess capacity for providers that may be overwhelmed with larger COVID-19 clusters. There is strong evidence that diligent isolation will mitigate the potential of cross-spread due to close contact among patients and staff.

"We are focused on ensuring our at-risk patients continue to receive their life-sustaining treatment while providing a safe environment for patients, their physicians, and our heroic staff. This collaboration will help us meet these goals," stated Mary Dittrich, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and interim CEO of U.S. Renal Care. "U.S. Renal Care is proud to be working closely with other providers to provide this safety net."

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) acted swiftly to demonstrate a true commitment to address the crisis and protect this patient population. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other government agencies, the dialysis community remains committed to staying in lockstep on infection control and clinical best practices. Further instructions on how to refer patients will be published through the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program, under contract with CMS.

About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities and outpatient cardiac and vascular labs, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated healthcare services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world's largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products, and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com/.

About DaVita Inc. 
DaVita (NYSE: DVA) is a health care provider focused on transforming care delivery to improve quality of life for patients globally. The company is one of the largest providers of kidney care services in the U.S. and has been a leader in clinical quality and innovation for more than 20 years. Through DaVita Kidney Care, the company treats patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage kidney disease. DaVita is committed to bold, patient-centric care models, implementing the latest technologies and moving toward integrated care offerings for all. Through these efforts, DaVita has also become the largest provider of home dialysis in the country. As of December 31, 2019, DaVita served 206,900 patients at 2,753 outpatient dialysis centers in the United States. The company also operated 259 outpatient dialysis centers in ten countries worldwide. DaVita has reduced hospitalizations, improved mortality, and worked collaboratively to propel the kidney care industry to adopt an equitable and high-quality standard of care for all patients, everywhere. To learn more, visit DaVita.com/About.

Fresenius Medical Care Disclaimer Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Fresenius Medical Care's planned collaboration with other dialysis organizations in response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the future impacts of the dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, including, without limitation, on the Company's patients, caregivers, employees, suppliers, business and operations, and consequences of an economic downturn resulting from the impacts of COVID-19.  Actual future events and results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to various factors, including, but not limited to, changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, legal changes, regulatory approvals, results of clinical studies, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.

DaVita Forward-Looking Statements
All statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and as such are intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, DaVita's response to and the expected future impacts of COVID-19, including, without limitation, on our patients, caregivers, suppliers, business and operations.  Without limiting the foregoing, statements including the words "expect," "intend," "will," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on DaVita's current expectations and are based solely on information available as of the date of this release. DaVita undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of changed circumstances, new information, future events or otherwise. Actual future events and results could differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, future impacts of the dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, including, without limitation, on our patients, caregivers, suppliers, business and operations, and consequences of an economic downturn resulting from the impacts of COVID-19, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity, financial condition and, under certain circumstances, our reputation, as well as uncertainties associated with the other risk factors set forth in DaVita Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the risks and uncertainties discussed in any subsequent reports that DaVita files or furnishes with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

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SOURCE Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.; DaVita Inc.