DaVita Changes and Plans

DaVita, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the United States, is rearranging at the top. DaVita HealthCare Partners is making moves in both of its divisions: DaVita, which provides dialysis care, and HealthCare Partners (HCP), which manages and operates medical groups and affiliated physician networks in several states and provides integrated care management for about 829,000 managed care patients, according to the company website (http://www.davitahealthcarepartners.com/).

Craig Samitt, MD, chief executive officer of HCP, the division based in Torrance, CA, stepped down from the CEO role in August.

Samitt’s empty CEO slot will be filled by Da Vita chief executive officer Kent Thiry, who had been CEO of Da-Vita, and will also fill the role of CEO of the DaVita-HCP parent company from its headquarters in Denver, CO.

Earlier this year, parent company DaVita HealthCare Partners said it would pay $389 million to settle criminal and civil antikickback investigations and planned to end joint ventures with kidney doctors involving 28 dialysis clinics. The Denver Post reported that Thiry said the settlement was being finalized after federal investigations into the company’s relationship with nephrologists’ offices that involved 28 DaVita dialysis clinics.

Replacing Thiry as DaVita CEO is Javier Rodriguez, who has been serving as DaVita president and has been part of senior leadership for 15 years.

“We have a talented team that is dedicated and passionate about building on the strong legacy of innovation and quality care,” said Rodriguez. “Our network of physicians and caregivers provides a strong foundation for transforming the delivery of care.”

HealthCare Partners touts itself as “the country’s largest operator of medical groups and physician networks.” Modern Healthcare online wrote that DaVita acquired HCP to provide and coordinate “a broader continuum of care. It has struggled, however, to produce encouraging financial results with the division.” HCP has teamed up with major insurers around the country to provide care through accountable care organizations.

DaVita is looking forward and is willing to try innovations in delivery as the federal Medicare Innovation Center rolls out pilot demonstrations to coordinate care for ESRD with ESRD seamless care organizations. DaVita chief medical officer Allen Nissenson, MD, told Modern Healthcare in mid-August that DaVita hoped to participate in two to five of the seamless care organizations through pilot programs.

“We haven’t heard yet if we’ve been selected to do that many, but we’re confident we’ll do some,” Nissenson said. “We really believe in the accountable care organization approach. We would have liked to do this much more broadly. But there are some issues around the way the financing is done and other important issues in terms of the regulations.”