Their track record was instrumental in convincing Congress in 1972 to add ESRD patients to the list of Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of the age of the patient. Today, Northwest Kidney Centers, a nonprofit organization, provides 80 percent of the dialysis care in King and Clallam, Wash., counties, educates the public about kidney health, and collaborates with the University of Washington Medicine in the Kidney Research Institute. It’s staff of 550 delivers more than 200,000 treatments a year in 14 dialysis centers and 11 hospitals. It also maintains one of the country’s largest training and support programs for people who wish to give themselves dialysis at home.
NxStage Medical Inc. beginning in the late 1990s, engineered and perfected the first, portable, easy-to-use, HHD machine in the world, the NxStage System One. The introduction of the NxStage System One has revolutionized and reinvigorated HHD after years of the modality languishing in the United States. It offers truly rehabilitative dialysis, tailoring treatment to meet each ESRD patient’s unique medical and lifestyle requirements. Today, this machine enables many thousands of patients in the U.S. to do their own daily hemodialysis treatment, in the comfort and safety of their own homes, or while traveling, all on their own time schedule and for less cost than traditional in-center dialysis.
NxStage Medical continues to do critical research on the benefits of extended, home dialysis, and is currently sponsoring the Freedom Study, the largest, prospective study of Medicare patients who convert to HHD with the NxStage System One. The study compares not only health outcomes, but also quality of life standards, and is the first such study of its kind.