HCHD Opens First Dialysis Center

A new dialysis center is opening for patients with little or no health insurance. The Harris County Hospital District will open it's first free-standing dialysis clinic this weekend. Laurie Johnson has more.
More than 90 percent of patients in the Harris County Hospital District have no insurance, or only have Medicare or Medicaid. For those who have advanced kidney failure, there aren't many places they can go for dialysis treatments.

That's why the Hospital District is opening the Riverside Dialysis Center around the corner from Riverside Hospital.

Mar Pidlaoan is the new director.

"We have 22 stations. We will be open from 6:00 in the morning until 8:30 in the evening, so we have several shifts that the patient can have their own choice in whatever is convenient for them that would suit their lifestyle or their work."

And that's important because dialysis treatments are typically about four hours long. And patients usually require three treatments a week.

The Center's Medical Director, Dr. Horacio Adrogue, says Texas has more dialysis patients than any other state.

"The risk factors for developing end-stage renal disease, that is need for dialysis, are largely diabetes and hypertension. And these are unfortunately becoming extremely common in our population."

Right now the district treats about 60 dialysis patients, with several others using the emergency rooms for treatment. Riverside Dialysis will double that capacity.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...