Senator Charles Grassley says closer inspection of the nation’s kidney dialysis centers is needed as some patients fear for their lives. Grassley says a recent federal study about half of the facilities were inspected in 1993, but last year, only 11 percent were inspected. Up to 15 percent of those had “considerable problems.” He says the low number of inspections is effecting the quality of care. Grassley says 300,000 Americans are on kidney dialysis. In 1998, it cost more than $11 billion. He says some facilities are re-using filters in the kidney machines. In one extreme case, a Florida nurse was charged last year after a dialysis patient bled to death while she talked on the phone. There are 46 kidney centers in Iowa which treat more than 17-hundred patients. In the past 17 years, there have been six complaints filed against an Iowa-based kidney dialysis center.
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