Kidney failure is ravaging in the United States, with especially high rates in nursing homes. In 2018, 786,000 Americans were living with ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease) with 80% of ESRD patients being age 65+. On top of the monumental problem that is kidney disease, is the fact that mortality risk for kidney failure is higher in the United States than in countries that spend less on kidney care. U.S. kidney failure mortality rates are 15% higher than in Europe and 33% higher than in Japan. With these high infection tallies come high financial impacts of kidney disease. Let’s look at how to fix dialysis in nursing homes below.
In 2018, total Medicare spending on patients with ESRD reached $49 billion, up 11% from 2009. (with $93,191 spent on hemodialysis, $78,741 on peritoneal dialysis, and $37,304 on transplant care per average patient each year.
The Risk of Infection
Outpatient treatment poses a high risk of infection, residents often struggle to find placement at clinics, and traveling to a dialysis clinic can be a hassle. These outpatient dialysis clinics are not structured to accommodate nursing home residents.
Nursing homes need 3-day on-site dialysis, not daily. Providing conventional dialysis on-site eliminates outpatient drawbacks. Benefits include 98% of nursing home dialysis patients are already being accustomed to 3-day outpatient dialysis, on-site. 3-day dialysis requires 17% less treatment time than daily dialysis and eliminates hours of travel time. Daily dialysis carries greater risk potentially leading to hospitalization or surgery. This is a greater opportunity for missed treatments, making 3-day dialysis a safer option. 3-day dialysis is equipped to treat 3 times as many patients than daily dialysis, all for the same price.
Dialysis providers lack the versatility and effective delivery of treatment that nursing home residents require. Nursing homes need in-house dialysis treatment designed for geriatric patients to ensure continuity of care.