Hopi dialysis services should begin on the reservation sometime this month, according to Hopi Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor.
Shortly after the dedication of the Hopi Health care Center on May 31, 2000, Indian Health Services (IHS) opened for bid the provision of dialysis service from the Hopi Health Care Center (HHCC). DaVita Incorporated and IHS negotiated a Collaborative Agreement that established the number of dialysis stations, the number of patients that can be serviced on a daily basis, and ensured that all necessary policies and procedures will be addressed. Since IHS assumed ownership of the HHCC from the Hopi Tribe upon completion of construction, the Hopi Tribe is not a party in the Collaborative Agreement.
Although the Agreement was signed early on, two issues prevented dialysis service from beginning in August, the month targeted for opening the dialysis center—delays in constructing the First Mesa water well and difficulties in providing electrical power to the well, resulting in insufficient water for dialysis and required certification from the Health Care Financing Act (HCFA), which remains to be finalized. Certification confirms that the dialysis operation is meeting required standards and codes, and service cannot begin without it. However, Chairman Wayne Taylor wished to assure the Hopi people that “the Hopi Tribe is working closely with DaVita Incorporated and IHS to ensure that service begins at the earliest date possible.”