Category Archives: Dialysis

End Stage Kidney Disease: Costs and Treatment

About 1 million people  in the US have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Treatment is divided roughly 70/30 between dialysis and kidney transplantation. The annual cost of the ESRD program, almost all of which is funded by Medicare, is more than $48 billion. It costs about $89,000 a year to care for a dialysis patient. The…


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Hemodialysis – 2011

There are two short, but informative, articles about hemodialysis in the February 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine – here and here. The first by the journal’s national correspondent, John Iglehart, outlines the various maneuvers  that Medicare is performing in an attempt to reduce costs. The second by Richard Retig from RAND…


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Hemodialysis Update

Two new articles discuss important aspects of hemodialysis in the US. One is in the lay press, the other in the New England Journal. The lay article, in the Atlantic Magazine, is an exercise in yellow journalism. If you or someone in your family needs dialysis it will scare you to death – perhaps literally….


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More on Gadolinium and NSF

More evidence mounts supporting the causal role of gadolinium containing MRI contrast agents and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in patients on dialysis. Two papers in the June 2008 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases examine the issue. Kallen, et all report that “Receipt of gadolinium-containing MRI contrast is associated with NSF in a…


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