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Company providing dialysis looking to set up in Manu’a

Chairman of the House Health Committee, Vesi Talalelei Fautanu Jr says committee members were expected to leave last night to meet with Dialysis Service Integrity (DIS), a renal company with offices in Honolulu in preparation for the company’s visit to the territory this month, where they intend make a presentation to the Health Committee about providing dialysis services for the Manu’a islands.


The Manu’a lawmaker had proposed that DIS take over the Tutuila dialysis unit as well, however that did not sit well with LBJ hospital officials.


Vesi’s vision since last year has been to hand the dialysis unit over to this private company, however hospital CEO, Taufete’e Faumuina is not so optimistic about the move noting funding issues and the investment already made into the current dialysis unit. DIS currently runs nine dialysis centers on Oahu, Hawai’i.


Vesi told Samoa News over the weekend, committee vice chair, Atalina Asifoa and committee member, Meauta Mageo would be going off island to meet with DIS which would be opening up their services in Manu’a this year. Currently there is no dialysis service in Manu’a and that will change this coming July.


According to Vesi, since LBJ does not want assistance from DIS, then these services would benefit the Manu’a residents who wish to return to Manu’a and haven’t been able to because of a lack of dialysis services there.


Asked how DIS will be able to operate and who would be funding this project, Vesi explained that the Department of Health is behind it 100%.


He said DIS is the prefect solution for the 48 Manu’a people who are on dialysis treatment and the goal is to expand the dialysis operation with resources and supplies for convenience of service for Manu'a patients.


Vesi told Samoa News that that the company’s vice-president of operations for the Hawai’i Region, Pliny I. Arenas, met with some of the House committee members in June 2015 in Honolulu to discuss ways to establish connections to support the dialysis system here in American Samoa.


He said after consensus is reached with the government and the hospital, they will determine if it can happen or not.


According to Vesi, if our Medicare and Medicaid can adjust the cost or come up with solutions, the company could decide to set up a clinic with more resources and supplies, while hiring more nurses with dialysis background.


“The fact still remains that the pre-dialysis numbers have gone up significantly, so that is a concern for our community at large,” said Vesi. He also told Samoa News that by July if all the plans fall in place then Manu’a residents could move back home but still have the option to go back and forth.




Last year Vesi stated that Arenas told him the company was interested in exploring the possibility of starting up a dialysis program in American Samoa and Manu’a. He further explained that the DIS financial analyst and business development team were working on the financial model and they will present it to the Health Committee when they come down for the for a presentation later this month.


Vesi also told Samoa News that the company is also looking at annual growth rate of End Stage Renal Disease and possible locations for a dialysis clinic and clarification on the budget process when it comes to the government supporting LBJ services.


Vesi stated that the company is also seeking advice on how they can apply for a grant to assist in building the clinic. 


The DSI Renal company was founded in August 2011, according to the company’s website. DSI is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and is now a leader among mid sized providers in the United States. Together, with physician partners, they provide access to state-of-the-art dialysis care for over 7,000 patients suffering with chronic kidney failure and renal disease.