Dialysis Center now accepting Medicare

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THE DIALYSIS Center, Inc., a nonprofit in Polson, is now accepting Medicare patients. The facility has been open for 14 months, but recent certification is allowing for new patients to utilize services. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

Last week, approximately 50 people attended a ribbon cutting for a Polson organization that has been in use for more than a year.

Dialysis Center, Inc., located at 303 Ridgewater Drive, was filled with community members Tuesday, June 19, as officials within the nonprofit recently received Medicare certification in March.

“It means we’ll be able to take Medicare patients, and that’s a big deal,” Nashville-based Senior Operations Director Lani Spencer said.

From 80 to 90 percent of the nonprofit’s patients use Medicare, she added.

DCI is primarily funded through Medicaid and Medicare, Spencer said.

Currently, there are eight patients that utilize the facilty durings its hours of operation on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, according to Registered Nurse Sandy Manning.

The facility is equipped to treat 17 patients, during three shifts a day.

One goal that administration has is to double the amount of days the center is open.

To meet that goal, Spencer said that more referrals must be made as well as letting travelers know that the center is there.

Both Spencer and Manning said that with the new certification, people in need of dialysis treatment may be able to visit the area, where before they weren’t able to do so.

There are two full-time employees, Manning said, while a “mother ship” in Kalispell has staff that visit newer locations through the week.

The Polson Dialysis Center, Inc. joins locations in Libby, Kalispell, Browning and soon-to-be Missoula.

Technicians, educators and other personnel are based out of Kalispell, often coming to Polson, Manning said.

Nationally, DCI operates more than 230 clinics, employing more than 5,000 people, and serving more than 15,000 patients in 28 states.

Each patient chair has heat and massage capabilities, and there are televisions suspended from the ceiling.

“We try to make it as comfortable and fun” for patients, Spencer said.

For more information on DCI, visit http://www.dciinc.org/about-dci/.

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