3 Things You Should Know About the Growing Demand for Dialysis
In the June 2015 Newsletter publication, we discussed the impact of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).  Now, we would like to touch on the growing demand for Dialysis treatment, and what this means for our community.
What is driving the growth?
In 2013, there was an estimated 2.45 million Dialysis patients, and this year, 2015, that number is estimated to be 2.79 million. The aging population, adoption of unhealthy lifestyles and increasing obesity rates are three prominent factors impacting the growing demand for Dialysis. With improved survival rates, we are witnessing a rise in life expectancy rates, which attributes to the aging population now accounting for a larger portion of the general population. The elder population is more susceptible to diseases, such as diabetes, which impacts the rise in dialysis treatment. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, the global diabetes population grew about 3% in 2013, coming in at 382 million people with Diabetes. This is expected to reach 522 million by 2030.

What does this mean?
The rise in disease prevalence impacts the growth in dialysis spending. For example, spending grew by 4.6% in 2013 as shown by data from a global healthcare expenditure study. The dialysis market faces heavy costs for treatments, and this expensive procedure is long-lasting. In the same study, they found that dialysis care accounted for 81% of the dialysis market, totaling US$60.75 billion in revenues. The majority of this care took place at dialysis centers, which tends to be the preferred option for patients over home dialysis. However, patients can quickly become tired from the procedure, as dialysis is a time consuming process that they undergo multiple times a week, and many patients have to travel long distances to their care centers.

Why does this matter?
With the need for more care centers to provide for the rising number of dialysis patients, the costs of dialysis treatment are also going up. According to “Mitigating Rising Dialysis Costs,” a Blog published on EthiCare Advisors in May 2014, as a general trend we are seeing billed charges as high as $50,000 a month, which correlates to a 500% mark up from the industry’s reported treatment costs.
Despite rising costs and challenges, there are solutions for dialysis patients.

Many patients are turning to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for assistance paying for their treatments and medications. However, often times they are still responsible for the gas it takes to travel, and receive no compensation for missed salary. A percentage of patients are turning to a lower-cost option in the form of home dialysis. This market currently represents a small fraction of dialysis patients; however, according to an article written by Steven Ross Johnson on modernhealthcare.com, it is predicted that up to 25% will eventually make the switch to receive their treatments in their own home. In this same article, a patient refers to home dialysis, saying, ‘”You get your life back.”’

More information on the dialysis market can be found in the Koncept Analytics Global Dialysis Market Report: 2015 Edition in the link below.

Dialysis Providers - Has it really been a quiet year for consolidation?
According to an article written in July 2015 on nephrologynews.com, “it has been a fairly quiet year for consolidation and growth.” However, it seems the bigger players in the dialysis industry may have been simply taking their time, as shortly after this article was published, consolidations began to make waves in the industry:
  • On August 24, 2015, it was announced that DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. will acquire Renal Ventures Limited LLC, adding over 2,000 dialysis patients to their current 174,300, and 36 clinics to the 2,210 they have established. For more information on the acquisition between the Colorado-based dialysis providers, please check out the announcement on Nephrology News & Issues.
  • On the same day, U.S. Renal Care (USRC), Inc. and DSI Renal announced a merger agreement. The merger puts approximately 23,000 patients under USRC’s care across 33 states. More information on this merger is available on Nephrology News & Issues.
These consolidations are looking forward to a more affordable, efficient future for dialysis and dialysis patients.

To learn how Mesa is working to help you provide efficient care and keep patients safe, please contact one of our representatives today.

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