NKF Participates in National Summit on Home Dialysis Policy

New York, NY (March 28, 2012) — While 398,000 patients in the U.S. receive dialysis treatment for kidney failure, only ten percent dialyze at home. A recent report in the National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases suggested that as a result of systematic barriers, patients are not alwaysreceiving the option of home dialysis, despite the therapy’s advantages in terms of convenience for patients and cost-effectiveness for the health system. The obstacles to home dialysis included inadequate education, excessive regulation and provider philosophy and practice.

“The number of dialysis patients in the U.S. is growing and the nation’s health policy is shifting. Now is the time for the health care community to join forces to facilitate the best treatment options for kidney patients,” says Dr. Beth Piraino, the report’s co-author, NKF’s President Elect and a panelist in the first-ever National Summit on Home Dialysis Policy. The Summit, to be held on March 29 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, will bring together patient groups, clinicians, industry and payers to address multiple barriers.

Delegates representing a variety of dialysis stakeholders will meet for a day-long series of roundtable to assess:

  • Educational, Training and Implementation Challenges
  • The Impact of the National Reimbursement System
  • Quality Measures and Initiatives; and
  • The Innovation Environment

Key federal officials and policymakers will join the delegates and a consensus report will be produced at the end.

“Home dialysis, which allows a patient to maintain a more normal lifestyle, is a very attractive option to many individuals facing the burden of incipient dialysis. Studies show that the majority of patients beginning in-center hemodialysis (HD) are unaware of the option to dialyze at home or receive very scanty information about this option. Once informed, 40% or more of patients are interested in this treatment option, and yet less than 10% actually initiate home dialysis,” says Dr. Piraino.

“This summit will help us focus on these barriers, which can be overcome through the collective coordinated action of dialysis organizations, the nephrology team and the government, all striving to ensure that the patient is educated and afforded proper options and is at the center of this process. Our ultimate goal is to provide a supportive national environment for more patients to have access to dialysis in the home,” continues Piraino.

For more on the barriers and study visit http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/nr/Kidney-Failure-Patients-Missing-Out.cfm

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing and treating kidney and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing awareness of all organs for transplantation. For more information on home dialysis and kidney disease, visit www.kidney.org