WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the first National Summit on Home Dialysis Policy, Summit organizers released a report reflecting the views of the delegates -- leaders in the kidney disease patient, clinician, facility and industry communities -- on federal policy steps to improve utilization of home dialysis for patients who can benefit from this often advantageous form of treatment. Many of the organizers also announced they have formed a new alliance, called the Alliance for Home Dialysis, to advance the recommendations identified at the Summit.
The Summit's "Report of the Delegates" highlights key findings from a March 29th meeting in Washington, DC where experts probed why, despite widely accepted and well-documented benefits of home dialysis — improved outcomes, enhanced patient satisfaction, improved quality of life, and lower costs— fewer than ten percent of the more than 390,000 current U.S. dialysis patients receive treatment at home. Current rates of home dialysis utilization reflect a steep decline from the 1970s, when almost 40% of U.S. dialysis patients were treated in-home.
Specifically, delegates found that policymakers should work with stakeholders in the dialysis community to confront three areas:
- Accessibility: Patients and clinicians face array of hurdles in education, training, and infrastructure that hinder equalized access to home dialysis.
- Accountability: Utilization of home dialysis can be improved through measures within government programs that are designed to recognize and support excellence in the delivery of home dialysis services.
- Aligning Incentives: Reimbursement policies, regulation of new technologies and other policy incentives can be realigned to better support federal policy goals of expanding access to home dialysis.
The Report includes 15 recommendations to serve these goals, including that federal policymakers should:
- Maintain parity for home and in-center dialysis in Medicare reimbursement;
- Support home dialysis mentoring programs, particularly those that use existing patients as mentors; and
- Align federal and state regulatory requirements for home therapies, such as revising the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Conditions for Coverage requirements, to reflect differences in home and in-center dialysis.
A copy of the full report can be found at www.homedialysisalliance.org.
Summit supporters will begin work through the new Alliance to dialogue with federal policymakers and advance policy improvements in the three consensus areas that emerged at the Summit.
SOURCE National Summit on Home Dialysis Policy