“As dialysis has expanded, its delivery model has changed. It was once performed almost exclusively in hospitals. But now hundreds of thousands of Americans have their blood cleansed in anonymous storefronts, industrial parks, and strip malls. And a large majority of the dialysis services delivered in the U.S. are expected to turn a profit,” Ron Shinkman writes over at NEJM Catalyst. “The two leading dialysis companies, German conglomerate Fresenius Medical Care and Colorado-based DaVita Healthcare Partners, control about 70% of the U.S. market. Together they operate about 3,900 locations nationwide — roughly the same number of Target, Best Buy, and Publix Super Market stores combined.But while those better-known enterprises mostly compete on price, the dialysis sector mostly appears to compete on price growth.It currently costs about $88,000 a year for a patient to undergo dialysis, according to the USRDS. That’s about 60% more than what the average U.S. household earns in a year. That figure includes not only dialysis itself, but the costs of collateral emergency room visits and hospitalizations.” Ron Shinkman, “The Big Business of Dialysis Care,” NEJM Catalyst.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder