Here are the top reasons that home dialysis treatment, both peritoneal and hemodialysis, is ready to take off in the U.S.
1. Policy and Legislative Changes
The federal government and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has strongly endorsed the shift to home dialysis. New regulations, reimbursement policy and legislation are accelerating progress towards this goal.
- August 2017: The FDA first allows the use of solo home hemodialysis, so qualified individuals could perform hemodialysis at home without a caregiver.
- February 2018: Congress passes the CHRONIC Care Act, allowing for reimbursement of telehealth visits between a nephrologist and home patient starting in 2019.
- January 2019: CMS releases new rules to allow for the support of home dialysis delivery within skilled nursing homes.
- Spring 2019: CMS is expected to release updated reimbursement policies for home dialysis, including more frequent home hemodialysis (HHD) which has been shown to improve patient outcomes.
2. Connected Health Technology
Connected health technologies that integrate with home machines are significantly improving the patient experience.
- Home machines can now send treatment data automatically to the care team to better monitor and support patients.
- Enhanced clinical platforms allow the care teams to receive and interpret data from home patients providing more immediate feedback and alerts.
- New technology in development will further improve monitoring and ease-of-use, allowing clinicians to adjust prescriptions and treatments remotely.
3. Patient-Centric Home Machines
Home dialysis machines have evolved to become much more patient-centric and easier to use, improving flexibility and patient freedom.
- Newer machines have been designed with the home patient in mind from the beginning, making them smaller and easier to use.
- The merger between Fresenius Medical Care and NxStage will provide a major boost of support for the company’s innovative home hemodialysis machine.
- Ongoing development of new machines and products is fueling innovation that will further accelerate the growth of home dialysis.
4. Better for Patients, Better for Healthcare
Healthcare officials have long sought to lower costs while improving the quality of care. Home dialysis has been identified as a way to achieve both of these goals.
- Studies show that home dialysis patients are more actively engaged in their own care, miss fewer treatments and have better health outcomes.
- Home therapies allow for more flexibility in treatment options, giving patients freedom and more time for either employment or family.
- Peritoneal dialysis conducted at home has been demonstrated to cost around 15 percent less than attending hemodialysis in-center three times a week.
5. Industry Determined to Lead the Shift to Home Dialysis
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) has pledged to significantly increase the percentage of home dialysis treatments over the next few years. The company is committed to leading the entire industry through new products, services, education and infrastructure so this goal can be realized.