The nation’s two largest kidney care providers are teaming up to expand in-home dialysis services across the U.S.
On Tuesday, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) and DaVita Kidney Care announced a deal that would give DaVita more access to FMCNA’s NxStage home hemodialysis machines, dialysis supplies and connected health platform called Nx2me Connected Health.
“We are excited to expand our longstanding collaboration with DaVita to help more patients benefit from the portability, dependability and flexibility of our NxStage home machines, which are designed to be easy to use,” Joe Turk, president of Home and Critical Care Therapies for FMCNA, said in a statement put out by the two companies.
Noted Keith Hartman, group vice president for DaVita home modalities, in the statement: “For patients choosing home dialysis, it can mean more freedom and also active participation in their care, which is why we’re always looking for new solutions that ease the burden on our patients.”
A spokesman for FMCNA would not disclose the financial arrangement to McKnight’s Home Care Daily but said the collaboration would give the two companies a leg up on what is becoming a highly competitive market due to a new federal payment model.
On Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the End Stage Renal Disease (ERSD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model that will be mandatory for 30% of kidney care providers in all 50 states. The plan is designed to lower Medicare costs by about $23 million over five years by encouraging home dialysis and transplants.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects an estimated 37 million Americans — about 800,000 of them have ESRD, requiring dialysis. To date, only about 13.4% of ESRD patients in the U.S. dialyze at home, but those numbers are expected to grow.
Fresenius and DaVita dominate the kidney care industry with a combined market share of about 75%, but a number of new companies are entering the market. Retail pharmacy chain CVS now operates dialysis centers that offer in-home treatment, and smaller startups, like Denver, CO-based Strive Health, are also jumping into the home dialysis market.