A group of researchers at University Health Network (UHN) and THETA Collaborative has found compelling evidence that shifting more people to home dialysis could provide significant savings for the healthcare system and better survival rates for patients.
Patients who suffer from end-stage kidney disease require dialysis to remove waste and excess fluid from their blood. This requires the patient to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for twelve to fifteen hours a week.
The procedure can be performed at home, but most patients receive treatment in a dialysis clinic. This is partly because there is insufficient evidence to support wider adoption of home dialysis.
To address this gap, Dr. Murray Krahn, Program Director at THETA Collaborative and a Senior Scientist at UHN’s Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, led a study that analyzed the healthcare costs and survival rates of patients who received dialysis in the province of Ontario. The research showed that costs for patients receiving home dialysis were 60% lower than those for patients receiving dialysis in a clinic. In addition, the patients who received home dialysis had better survival rates compared to those who received dialysis at the clinic.
“Home dialysis offers patients a lot more independence as well as the option of having more frequent dialysis at times that are convenient for them,” says Dr. Krahn. “It also costs less than dialysis at a clinic and would generate significant cost-savings for the province's healthcare system.”
This work was supported by the Ontario Renal Network Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. Dr. Murray Krahn holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Technology Assessment.
Krahn MD, Bremner KE, de Oliveira C, Dixon SN, McFarlane P, Garg AX, Mitsakakis N, Blake PG, Harvey R, Pechlivanoglou P. Home Dialysis Is Associated with Lower Costs and Better Survival than Other Modalities: A Population-Based Study in Ontario, Canada. Perit Dial Int. 2019 Nov-Dec;39(6):553-561. doi: 10.3747/pdi.2018.00268.