5th District Rep. Tom Garrett Visits DaVita Dialysis Center for First Time

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Rep. Tom Garrett at DeVita Dialysis Center Rep. Tom Garrett at DeVita Dialysis Center

Virginia's 5th District Rep. Tom Garrett (R) spent Monday morning in Albemarle County visiting patients who are living with kidney failure.

He stopped by DaVita Charlottesville Dialysis Center for a special tour.  It was Garrett's first visit to DaVita and to a dialysis center. He says working to get better care, better outcomes and more affordable costs for patients is a must.

"Whenever you speak with folks who have subject matter expertise where you don't, you listen to what they have to say," Garrett said.

DaVita employees led the Garrett through the treatment center, where those living with end stage renal disease, or kidney failure, require dialysis to survive.

"We have an outreach program for all of our representatives across the country, we want them to be able to see what we do and what impacts that they have on our patients and our ability to provide care," Brian Rodgers at DaVita said.

Care that Garrett says he was surprised to discover could be done efficiently at home.

"I asked about folks doing this inside their homes, and I figured that it would be cost-prohibitive, what I learned was it's actually less expensive and that there are better outcomes when people sort of take ownership of their care," Garrett said.

Garrett says community and comprehensive care practices result in better outcomes.

We see that with our community health centers here in Virginia, so you know these guys saying, ‘hey this is important to our industry this is how we can get better care, better results, with better costs,’” Garrett said.

All this comes after Garrett's vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"The real trick here is quality of care that's accessible, and that's what we were moving away from as we saw insurers leave market after market after market, recently Aetna leaving Virginia," Garrett said.

Garrett also got an inside look at DaVita's water treatment facility, where employees make sure the water used to perform dialysis stays clean and pure.

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