Dialysis patient care is in crisis and it’s driving up costs for all of us.

Dialysis keeps patients alive when their kidneys fail by taking out the patient’s blood, cleaning it, and putting it back in their body. In the United States, more than 477,000 people depend on dialysis, and two big corporations — Fresenius and DaVita — monopolize the industry, controlling more than 75% of the market.

Patient care is suffering

Patients and caregivers report sanitation problems, including bloodstains and cockroaches in dialysis clinics. The lack of proper sanitation and hygiene can contribute to high infection rates.

Dialysis corporation profits are out of control

Big dialysis corporations make billions of dollars annually. The average profit margin for DaVita and Fresenius clinics in the United States is 19% — more than six times as high as the profit margin for an average hospital in the United States.

Overcharging drives up costs for all of us

Dialysis companies charge patients with private insurance an average $150,000 for a year of dialysis treatment. That’s a 350% markup from the cost of providing care! Insurance companies are forced to pass the costs to all policyholders, driving up healthcare premiums for us all. Blue Shield of California reports that it takes 3,800 enrollees to offset the cost of one dialysis patient.

Stopping Big Dialysis profit Schemes

Some dialysis corporations have pushed patients to enroll in commercial healthcare coverage instead of public coverage (Medicare or Medi-Cal) by offering to pay the private insurance premiums through the American Kidney Fund (AKF). Switching patients to commercial insurance maximizes profits for the dialysis companies who charge exorbitant rates to commercially insured patients.

We have introduced legislation to:

Create transparency

Providers would have to tell health plans that they are paying premiums for a patient and tell the patient about their other coverage options.

Put patients first

The AKF must agree to not cut off patients’ health insurance payments mid-year, ensuring continuity of care.

Penalize violators

Financially-interested healthcare providers that violate the bill’s requirements would be reimbursed at the Medicare rate.