LAURINBURG — With an average 10 percent annual increase in the number of dialysis patients over the last five years, existing Scotland County dialysis centers are falling short, according to an N.C. Department of Health and Human Services report.
In its most recent Semiannual Dialysis Report, released in July, the state DHHS found that the county is currently deficient by 11 dialysis stations. The number of dialysis patients has increased from 99 in 2008 to 148 in 2012. By the end of this year, DHHS projects that 164 people will receive dialysis services in Scotland County.
Last week, DHHS said that the county’s two existing centers, both operated by Bio-Medical Applications of North Carolina, Inc., have applied to expand and Total Renal Care, Inc. has applied to open a new facility.
As of Dec. 31, 2012, Bio-Medical Applications of Laurinburg, on Lauchwood Drive, serves 87 patients with 26 dialysis stations and Fresenius Medical Care of Scotland County, on Aberdeen Road, serves 41 patients with 12 stations.
According to the report, each dialysis station should serve 3.2 patients. Last year, there were 3.35 patients per station at Bio-Medical Applications of Laurinburg and 3.42 patients per station at Fresenius Medical Center. Bio-Medical Applications of Laurinburg reported 83.65 percent utilization while Fresenius Medical Center reported 85.42 percent utilization of their existing dialysis stations.
Of the three applications submitted to DHHS, the one submitted by Total Renal Care, Inc., doing business as Scotland County Dialysis, proposes the greatest number of dialysis stations. The proposal is to develop a 10-station dialysis facility by September 2015 at a cost of $1.6 million.
Both Bio-Medical Applications proposals involve expansion of existing facilities: adding four dialysis stations to the Bio-Medical Applications Laurinburg facility by December 2014 at no capital cost and adding two dialysis stations to the Fresenius Medical Center facility by December 2014 at a cost of $5,300.
DHHS will hold a public hearing for the three competing applications 11 a.m. on Nov. 19 at the Scotland County Memorial Library.