Houston Dialysis Center is a department of Houston General Hospital, a full-service, not-for-profit acute care hospital with 325 beds. The bulk of the hospital’s facilities are devoted to inpatient care and emergency services. However, a 100,000 square-foot section of the hospital complex is devoted to outpatient services. Currently, this space has two primary uses. About 80 percent of the space is used by the Outpatient Clinic, which handles all routine outpatient services offered by the hospital. The remaining 20 percent is used by the Dialysis Center.
The Dialysis Center performs hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, which are alternative processes for removing wastes and excess water from the blood for patients with end-stage renal (kidney) disease. In hemodialysis, blood is pumped from the patient’s arm through a shunt into a dialysis machine, which uses a cleansing solution and an artificial membrane to perform the functions of a healthy kidney. Then, the cleansed blood is pumped back into the patient through a second shunt.
In peritoneal dialysis, the cleansing solution is inserted directly into the abdominal cavity through a catheter. The body naturally cleanses the blood through the peritoneum—a thin membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. In general, hemodialysis patients require three dialyses a week, with each treatment lasting about four hours. Patients who use peritoneal dialysis change their own cleansing solutions at home, typically about six times per day. This procedure can be done manually when active or automatically by machine when sleeping. However, the patient’s overall condition, as well as the positioning of the catheter, must be monitored regularly at the Dialysis Center.
The hospital allocates facilities costs (which primarily consist of building depreciation and interest on long-term debt) on the basis of square footage. Currently, the facilities cost allocation rate is $15 per square foot, so the facilities cost...
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