Trump reveals plan to overhaul kidney disease care

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Source: MassDevice

The Trump administration yesterday revealed its plan to overhaul the way kidney disease is treated in the U.S., looking to increase early detection and emphasize transplants and home hemodialysis instead of in-clinic treatment via executive order.

Shares of dialysis providers DaVita Healthcare (NYSE:DVA) and Fresenius (NYSE:FMStook a hit earlier this week on news of the changes.

The executive order, which aims to save about $4.2 billion a year, directs the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. to incentivize kidney donations and increase oversight of the 58 nonprofits that collect donated organs. The order also directs HHS to emphasize early treatment, early transplantation and home dialysis. The goal is for 80% of new kidney disease patients to be on home dialysis or have received a transplant by 2025, The Hill reported. Only 12% of dialysis patients are treated at home, according to the website.

Fresenius, which closed the $2 billion acquisition of home hemodialysis pioneer NxStage Medicalin February, said it was “pleased” by the initiative.

“We share the U.S. administration’s commitment to expanding access to home dialysis, transplantation and new models of value-based care for chronic kidney disease, and we see it as an endorsement of our initiatives. We invest constantly in innovation and will continue to do so in order to further develop the healthcare system. The proposed reimbursement models and new incentives will help foster further innovation and support a healthcare delivery system structure that is closely attuned to the needs of our patients,” CEO Rice Powell said in prepared remarks. “Our recent merger with NxStage, which makes the leading hemodialysis machine for home use, is just one piece of a focused effort to educate patients and physicians around the benefits of home treatment and provide industry leading solutions to enable them to do so. We are also investing in technologies for the future, including new innovations for remote patient monitoring and telehealth that, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, will make it easier to help patients between visits to a doctor and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.

“We welcome reimbursement reforms that facilitate investments in care models designed to improve outcomes and help reduce costs, two goals to which more use of home dialysis and transplants can equally contribute. We will carefully review the U.S. administration’s proposal and contribute to developing the framework that offers the best possible conditions and greatest benefit for patients,” Powell said.

DaVita CEO Javier Rodriguez said the company was “encouraged” by the move.

“We have pushed for progressive policies to give all patients access to integrated kidney care, the benefits of which are significant to our patient population. Educating patients about kidney disease is critical to prevention and slowing its progression. Early intervention leads patients who may still need dialysis to choose the best treatment option for their lifestyle and reduces expensive hospitalizations,” Rodriguez said. “In partnership with nephrologists, we are best positioned to deliver in the home dialysis space, as the largest provider of home dialysis in the U.S. We’re accelerating home growth with our investments in technologies, such as home remote monitoring and a telehealth platform, to make it easier for patients to treat at home.”

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said it plans to increase manufacturing capacity for its peritoneal dialysis products. Baxter paid $3.9 billion for Swedish dialysis giant Gambro in September 2013.

“We are excited to partner with the administration and healthcare providers to bring the benefits of peritoneal dialysis to more patients and improve dialysis care overall,” chairman & CEO Joe Almeida said in press release. “In support of this effort, we are committed to investing in additional U.S. manufacturing capacity that will bring our industry-leading technology and services to new patients, while also creating jobs for Americans.”

“We are appreciative of the administration’s momentous shift with this initiative that will benefit ESRD patients,” added renal care GM Laura Angelini. “Our extensive home dialysis infrastructure, pioneering innovation in home therapies and deep expertise in driving PD adoption around the world will help make the Administration’s innovative vision a reality.”

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