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Skagit Regional Health to sell kidney center

November 18, 2018

MOUNT VERNON — The Skagit Regional Health Board of Commissioners on Friday approved the sale of the Skagit Valley Kidney Center to Fresenius Medical Care.

There will be no changes to patient schedules or insurance billing, Skagit Regional Health President and CEO Brian Ivie said at the Friday morning meeting.

All current kidney center employees have been offered comparable positions, salaries and paid time off under Fresenius, Ivie said.

The center has about 35 employees, Marketing and Communications Director Kari Ranten told the Skagit Valley Herald. Employees have until next week to decide whether to stay on with Fresenius.

“What Fresenius has done in terms of supporting our employees and the transition to a new organization has been exceptional,” Ivie said.

While Skagit Regional Health is selling the kidney center itself, it will retain ownership of the center’s building and lease the portion housing the center to Fresenius for five years, with the option to extend another five, Ivie said.

A purchase agreement for the center will be signed this month, Ivie said, and the center will change hands Dec. 17.

Center employees will remain under Skagit Regional Health until Dec. 31.

Despite the sale, the center will continue to be led by a Skagit Regional Health kidney specialist.

“They’re still Skagit Regional Health patients, so we want to maintain a hand in leadership,” Ivie said at the meeting.

The center provides outpatient dialysis services. Skagit Regional Health will continue to offer inpatient dialysis services at Skagit Regional Hospital, Ranten said.

A purchase price for the center will be finalized in the coming weeks.

The price will include all inventory and medications the center currently has, Ivie said at the meeting.

The sale has been in the works since early this year.

In April, Ivie told the Skagit Valley Herald that a company that specializes in kidney centers, such as Fresenius, could make the center more efficient.

The change was spurred by decreases in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and increases in the resources required for reporting measures for the center, Ivie said.

“The intent of this is to have an incredible kidney dialysis center continue to operate in this community,” Ivie said at the meeting.

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