Advocacy and Public Policy Challenges by the Numbers

Overview of the Kidney Disease Population

  • 73 million 1 in 3 American adults is currently at risk for developing kidney disease

  • 26 million 1 in 9 American adults – are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD), although most don’t know

  • 3 million Medicare patients have a diagnosis of CKD (stages 1-4), but not kidney failure and many more are estimated to have the disease, but are undiagnosed

  • 661,648 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive

  • 468,386 ESRD patients receive dialysis at least 3 times per week to replace kidney function

  • 193,262 Americans live with a functioning kidney transplant

  • 89,139 People with ESRD die annually

  • 17,107 Americans received a kidney transplant in 2014

  • 100,791 Americans were on the kidney transplant waiting list as of January 1, 2016

  • 37% of ESRD patients had a primary diagnosis of diabetes, the leading cause of ESRD

  • 25% of ESRD patients had a primary diagnosis of hypertension, the second leading cause of ESRD

  • 34% of ESRD patients were cared for by a nephrologist for a year or more prior to their kidney failure

  • 75.5% of New ESRD patients apply for Medicare

Costs of Kidney Disease in the United States

  • $99 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with all stages of CKD[1]

  • $68 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with CKD (stages 1-4), without kidney failure

  • $31 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with ESRD

  • $125,967 Medicare spending for kidney transplant per patient in the first year

  • $86,592 Medicare spending on a dialysis patient, per-year

  • $24,438 Medicare spending for a functioning transplant patient, per-year (after the first year)

  • $3,599 Medicare Part B spending on immunosuppressive drugs, per year


[1]   Includes only Medicare Fee-For Service patients over 65

Updated January 2016

Sources of Facts and Statistics:
United States Renal Data System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Health, United Network of Organ Sharing and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics