Giving Compass’ Take:
• This article highlights research that finds acquisitions by for-profit dialysis companies hurt patient health, survival, and transplant rates.
• There are various funding initiatives that philanthropists can become involved in to address challenges with kidney failure. How can philanthropists work together to collaborate on funding?
• Learn about putting the patient first with patient-centered care.
As the large dialysis chains acquired more than 1,200 smaller providers across the US from 1998 to 2010, they cut skilled medical staff, increased patient volumes, altered drug regimens, among other practices, report researchers from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
The researchers examined patient and facility data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and identified specific changes in practice after large firms acquired clinics.
They replaced highly skilled nurses with less-skilled technicians to reduce labor costs, increase patient loads per employee by 11.7%, and treated 4.5% more patients at each dialysis station.
The Quarterly Journal of Economics has put the study through peer review. It’s available online as a working draft.
Nearly half a million people in the US are on dialysis to clean wastes from their blood that their failing kidneys can no longer filter. Large for-profit companies own almost 80% of dialysis providers in the US. The two largest publicly traded corporations, DaVita and Fresenius, own more than 60% of dialysis facilities and earn more than 90% of the industry’s revenue, the researchers note.
Read the full article on the negative side of for-profit dialysis companies by researchers at Duke University via Futurity.
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