LOUISVILLE, Ky.—University Medical Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization established to benefit the University of Louisville School of Medicine, is entering into a joint venture with American Renal Associates to form a new organization for providing kidney dialysis services to the people of the Louisville region.
University Kidney Center LLC began operations July 1, and is conducting business as the University of Louisville Renal Dialysis Center.
“Our goal always will be to provide the very best quality care possible,” said Eleanor Lederer, MD, chief of nephrology at the University of Louisville. “This partnership allows us to continue to provide that high quality care, maintain our commitment to patients in the downtown area, and provide those services in modern facilities with additional amenities such as individual televisions and internet access.”
UMF will hold 30 percent equity in the new joint venture.
“These funds will provide resources for support of the major missions of the medical school – research into the causes and treatment of kidney diseases,” Lederer said. “The partnership guarantees our trainees access to dialysis patients, which is a critical component of our teaching program in nephrology.”
The current dialysis unit has been an independent, single free-standing facility for nearly 50 years, making it a rarity among programs associated with an academic medical center. Recent changes in reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid create the environment that such facilities do not have the resources necessary to continue to operate at a level of service expected by patients and to compete with the large private providers in the marketplace.
“The dialysis program has a wonderful reputation locally and nationally,” said Joseph Carlucci, CEO and co-founder of American Renal Associates. “Being able to partner with a group that has such a strong track record for caring for patients is one of the reasons we became interested. Partnering with high quality physicians is a key component of our success. It allows the physician to have even more input into the care provided to patients. Another reason is that through this partnership, we believe we will be able to bring that care to more people in the Louisville area.”