The United States has the highest number of patients treated for kidney failure. This year-on-year increase in the incidence of people having kidney failures has led to a drop in mortality rate. The main worry is that the number of patients treated with home dialysis has doubled over the last decade. To provide proper care to patients that have opted for home dialysis, President Donald Trump announced a sweeping set of initiatives called Advancing American Kidney Health. The main aim of this bold and comprehensive initiative is to fundamentally transform the lived experience of patients with kidney failure in the United States and substantially change the entire scope of the clinical practice of nephrology.
This initiative is developed by the Health and Human Services department of the U.S for the Improvement in Home dialysis. This initiative could be revolutionary if the buy-in and support of a wide range of stakeholders are incorporated. Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) was presented to the public on July 10, 2019. It calls for 50% of the new patients starting home dialysis by 2025. AAKH will also give a forward push to nephrology.
For the working of home dialysis to be smooth-functioning, open communication between doctors and patients and be adequate, it is important to inculcate telemedicine and connected health into it. New emerging technologies can boost up the functioning of doctors and anticipate complications and risks sooner during home dialysis. Health and Human Services and Medicare are supporting these tech tools, additionally, congress approved new requirements in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act that broadened telemedicine services for home dialysis patients. In 2019 Medicare started paying telehealth visits to nephrologists and accepted a patient’s home as a suitable location.
Remote monitoring the patients and improving adherence is important for this initiative to be concrete. This can be achieved by the health platform called TheHub launched by Fresenius Medical Care. The platform has three applications that facilitate better coordination and tracking of patient treatments by patients, care teams and providers.
- The PatientHub provides patients with the opportunity to remain connected to their care team and send daily treatment details, access laboratory reports, and medications, message the dialysis staff, order home dialysis supplies and access a peer-to-peer support group.
- The CareTeamHub allows home therapy nurses to monitor patients and provide guidance for clinical decision making, helping the care team to spot possible concerns sooner and to intervene.
- The ProviderHub provides easy, real-time access to medical records by doctors and advanced practitioners from their computer of choice, whether a cell, tablet or laptop/desktop.
The application makes it easier to build notes, monitor visits, and sign orders, said Jeff Burbank, chief strategy and transformation officer at Fresenius at the launch in a statement. Jeffrey Hymes, MD, Fresenius Kidney Care chief medical officer and Fresenius Medical Care North America senior vice-president of clinical and scientific affairs, told Nephrology News & Issues” The artificial intelligence, along with connected health tools, will help the kidney care community achieve AAKH’s goals. This whole project by Human and Health Services is a great step forward for Improvement in Home Dialysis.