More nursing facilities must consider renal disease management options

Robert Kraus
Robert Kraus
As the baby boomer generation ages, it is no surprise that skilled nursing facilities will encounter more patients in need of rehabilitative services that also have secondary diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The United States Renal Data System is forecasting a compound growth rate of 3% in ESRD population through 2020 (Figure 1). A percentage of this total overall population will also become residents in a long term care facility.


ESRD patients require chronic hemodialysis treatments three times a week at a dialysis center or hospital. The patient must be transported to the centers for treatment which can last up to four hours and does not include the transportation time. This is a concern for SNF's as the patient may miss therapy sessions. It can lead to extending the length of stay for patients who do not meet their rehabilitative goals while adding additional cost to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.

An alternative for skilled nursing facilities is to have their own dialysis center and achieve the following:

  • Convenience of in house dialysis center to nursing home residence improves quality of life.
  • Eliminate the cost of transportation for in house dialysis patients to out-patients clinics for treatment of their disease.
  • New Service Line offering to market for rehabilitation, long term and community patients.
  • Residents remain in their “home” for dialysis treatments preventing interruption of care relative to occupational therapy, PT, speech therapy, etc., thereby improving morbidity and mortality outcomes.
  • Patient satisfaction as well as family satisfaction.

How do we know whether or not having our own dialysis center will be right for us ?

Transportation cost is the first indicator. While some states re-imburse for dialysis transportation, some states do not. Transportation on a patient is tiresome, often tedious and stressful and can cause the patient to miss other necessary services. Furthermore, patients traveling to an outside dialysis center may not receive complete treatments because of time constraints on the transport company.

Some dialysis providers also enter Joint Venture relationships, usually with physicians, where they actively partner on a shared basis with the dialysis provider taking the management and billing roles. Construction of a 12 station dialysis facility, in the existing location, demands expertise in dialysis design and layout for successful flow of services. Contracting, plumbing and electrical skills are essential in dialysis.

Reliant Renal Care, Inc (RRC) is a dialysis provider that is patient focused, concentrating on providing the highest quality of care for patients with end-stage-renal disease.  RRC has a turnkey solution for skilled nursing facilities. Reliant Renal Care provides all of the services required to efficiently run a dialysis program.  From architectural design, construction and certification readiness to human resources, billing, coding and excellent patient outcomes.

Robert Kraus is the Vice President of Business Development at Reliant Renal Care. Contact Reliant Renal Care at 610-892-4700 or visit for more information.

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