New home dialysis machines are making it possible for patients to get dialysis more frequently (thus more closely mimicking the continuous function of the kidneys) and avoid travel to dialysis centers. Medicare is the main payer for dialysis, and may be able to save about $10,000 of the annual $60,000 cost per patient if home dialysis proves out. Previous home machines were hard to use and required plumbing and electrical upgrades. New machines are more like home appliances.
NIH is starting a long-term multi-center trial to determine whether the new machines improve outcomes, according to the Boston Globe (Home, sweet home dialysis).October 17, 2005