Daily home hemodialysis at a health maintenance organization: three-year experience.
ABSTRACT Daily home hemodialysis (DHD), 5 to 7 short-duration hemodialysis treatments per week, promotes self-care and has beneficial effects on a number of clinical outcomes including blood pressure and volume control, electrolyte balance, uremic symptoms and sequelae, and quality of life. We sought to demonstrate that DHD is feasible and confers clinical benefits that permit savings in overall healthcare costs despite expenditures on program infrastructure and supplies. We examined the following outcomes monthly for all patients: laboratory values, dialysis adequacy, hospital admission records, surgical and interventional radiology records, and prescription medication usage. Twelve patients completed training in our home hemodialysis unit between April 2003 and April 2006. The mean age at the time of training was 58 years and mean vintage was 62 months. The mean treatment time was 147 min, and the mean number of treatments performed was 5.3 per week. When 1 patient with morbid obesity was excluded due to intentional weight loss, the mean dry weight at initiation of training was 71.9+/-12.4 kg and increased to 74.3+/-12.4 kg by the end of the study (p=0.66). The mean albumin increased from a baseline of 3.9+/-0.3 to 4.3+/-1.1 gm/dL during DHD (p=0.0015). The mean serum phosphorus levels were 5.4+/-1.4 mg/dL. Phosphate binder usage increased from a mean baseline of 2.6+/-1.4 to 4.2+/-2.6 tablets per meal during DHD (p=0.08). The mean delivered single pool Kt/V was 0.87 per treatment. During the 234 months studied, there were 11 hospital admissions (0.56 admissions per patient per year), with a mean length of stay of 3.7 days. Our results demonstrate that DHD improves nutritional status and decreases hospital admissions for dialysis-dependent patients.