Just listened to a fascinating Freakonomics podcast about the business of kidney dialysis. Kidney failure (often caused by diabetes) is such a catastrophic disease that Medicare covers treatment for anyone, regardless of age. Dialysis is 6-7% of Medicare's overall budget. The ACA (Obamacare) inadvertently created a loophole that the 2 dialysis industry players are gaming, to the detriment of everyone. The Trump administration was in the process of trying to solve this problem, but the incoming Biden administration has put it on hold.
One solution is home dialysis. In the US, only 12% of dialysis patients are on it, even though it helps keep people healthier, creates a better quality of life since it happens overnight while one sleeps at home, and would ultimately save money. Other countries like Guatemala have 50% of patients on home dialysis, and Taiwan has 80%. What's up with the U.S.? One take-away of this podcast is: maintain a healthy weight! You do not want to get diabetes and wind up on dialysis! This is such an interesting podcast with other take-aways.
Please keep your stories of at-home or clinic dialysis coming...I'm interested to learn more. Thanks, AC peeps!
- Family history of CKD
- Race/ethnicity (African-America, Hispanic, Native American, Asian)
- Other causes such as acute kidney injury, kidney cancer, autoimmune diseases like Lupus, other diseases
Bridger, what about your mom? Any of these factors?
Diabetes patients apparently are just walking dollar signs to Big Pharma and the healthcare industry. One of the medical experts on the program stated that a third of all diabetics have some degree of kidney damage: ka-ching!
The schedule of care nearly killed my health MIL. FIL had CONSTANT infections in the line. Hospitalized every couple of weeks. Massive failure and I guarantee it cost more in the long run than dialysis in a center.
Very much like "age at home and pay your relative (a pittance) for being your 24/7 caregiver".
In medicine as in education, there is no free lunch.