Advocacy and Public Policy Challenges by the Numbers

Overview of the Kidney Disease Population

  • 1 in 3 American adults (approximately 80 million people) is at risk for CKD.
  • CKD affects an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. (15% of the adult population; more than 1 in 7 adults).
  • Approximately 90% of those with CKD don't even know they have it.
  • 726,331 Americans had kidney failure in 2016 and needed dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
  • More than 500,000 patients receive dialysis at least 3 times per week to replace kidney function.
  • More than 215,000 Americans lived with a kidney transplant in 2016.
  • 12 people die every day while waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • Over 100,000 people with ESKD died in 2016.
  • 21,167 Americans received a kidney transplant in 2018. 30% of those transplants (6,442) were from a living kidney donor.
  • About 100,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • 45% of new ESKD patients had a primary diagnosis of diabetes, the leading cause of ESKD.
  • 29% of new ESKD patients had a primary diagnosis of hypertension, the second leading cause of ESKD.
  • Although it is very important for patients who are nearing the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation to be cared for by a nephrologist, in 2016, only 32% of ESKD patients received such care for a year or more prior to their kidney failure.
  • Almost 76% of new ESKD patients apply for Medicare.

Costs of Kidney Disease in the United States

  • $114 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with all stages of CKD (including kidney failure), in 2016.
  • $79 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with CKD without kidney failure.
  • Medicare spent $35 billion in 2016 to care for people with ESKD.
  • $23,5581 Medicare spending on costs to care for someone aged 65 and older with CKD, without ESKD, per-year were 93% higher than the average Medicare beneficiary.2
  • In 2016, Medicare spent over $89,000 per dialysis patient, per-year--
  • --and almost $35,000 per transplant patient.
  • Medicare Part B spends $2,303 on immunosuppressive drugs, per year, for kidney transplant recipients.
  • For ESKD patients, Medicare Part D prescription spending is 4.1 times greater than non-ESKD patients.

Sources
Note: For complete sources/references, see NKF's Kidney Disease: The Basics fact sheet located at: https://nkf.egnyte.com/dl/DWdaLPWST6/

  1. United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2018. Available at: https://www.usrds.org/reference.aspx
    [2018 ADR Reference Tables; Volume 1; K. Healthcare Expenditures for CKD; Tab K.1; Column V, Row 35]
  2. United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2018. Available at: https://www.usrds.org/adr.aspx
    [2018 ADR Chapters; Volume 1; Chapter 7: Healthcare Expenditures for Persons with CKD; Spending for CKD and Related Chronic Comorbidities; Beneficiaries Aged 65 and Older; Fee-For-Service Medicare; line 9]