John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, profiled kidney dialysis companies on Sunday night. He took them on like only John Oliver can do, and it was brutal.
He focused on how for-profit companies treat patients, and whether clinics inform patients enough about the pros of kidney transplants, versus the cons of dialysis; specifically, he focuses on Denver-based DaVita, run by CEO Ken Thiry - even going so far as to highlight Thiry's love for the movie The Man in the Iron Mask, and showing a clip from 2009, in which Thiry says he runs his clinics like he would run Taco Bell franchises.
Here's a bit of Oliver's commentary:
"Some clinics are leaving out information that people really should know. Information on transplants at a dialysis clinic is a bit like the number ferrets you own while you're on a Tinder date. You need to disclose that sh*t right up front so that people don't make a huge mistake. You have to do that! You have to do that! It's not right! You disclose that sh*t! ... We focused on DaVita because they have the most patients, and Kent Thiry dresses like an idiot all the time, but a lot of the problems we've seen run throughout the dialysis industry."
Oliver also touches on the staff at DaVita's various locations - an apparent lack of it, and the pressure put on employees to treat the maximum number of patients, according to one man.
And about 13 minutes into the episode, Oliver even shows a clip with a familiar face -- it's 9NEWS' own Noel Brennan! The clip is from a 2014 report of Noel's, who covered a DaVita settlement. DaVita had been accused in a lawsuit of paying kickbacks to doctors for referrals.
You can check out the entire episode here:
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