Improved Care for Kidney Patients Reduces Medicare Costs and Saves Taxpayers Money
Medicare costs for CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) exceed
"We are partnering with primary care physicians, nephrologists and vascular surgeons to improve care for patients at risk of, and with CKD by preventing or slowing the progression of the disease," explained
Bradley said improving the health and well-being of CKD patients could have a substantial economic impact considering Medicare beneficiaries with CKD account for 16.5 percent of Medicare costs in the year the disease is diagnosed, and 11.1 percent in the next year.
"We are confident that better care for these patients can lead to considerable cost savings, improved outcomes and better quality of life because it can mean less reliance on drugs, dialysis, and hospitalization," said Bradley. The IPRO project encourages prevention and early detection of CKD and proper medication recommendations to slow the progression of the disease.
IPRO also supports the nationwide Fistula First effort which addresses the need for patients who suffer from ESRD to have safer, higher-quality access to hemodialysis through a fistula. Bradley explained that a fistula is a "connection" surgically created by joining a vein and an artery in the forearm allowing blood from the artery to flow into the vein for safe and easy access for dialysis.
"Fistulas make a real, proven difference in the health of the patient. By providing a method of dialysis that is safer, longer lasting, and less likely to cause infection, fistulas are seen as the gold standard for vascular access," said Bradley.
Fistulas reduce serious infections and complications leading to hospitalizations and mortality often associated with other forms of vascular access for kidney patients. Vascular access complications account for 16 to 25 percent of all hemodialysis patient admissions, contributing to about
IPRO is part of the nationwide Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. QIOs work with health care providers, consumers and stakeholder groups to refine care delivery systems to make sure all people - particularly those from underserved populations - get the right care every time.
This material was prepared by IPRO, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for
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