Teddy Wants a Chair — DaVita Says “No”

by Rich Berkowitz… Teddy is doing home hemodialysis.  He would like a dialysis chair to do his dialysis in.  He asked his DaVita nurse and social worker to get him one.  They refused.   According to the nurse, DaVita’s hands are tied by Medicare.  But the story gets even crazier. The nurse said that DaVita’s guidelines […]

There’s a New ESA A-coming…

By Rich Berkowitz … There’s a crescendo growing as Affymax’s Peginesatide is nearing final approval by the FDA.  Peginesatide will be the first competitor in the marketplace to Amgen’s monopoly on the Erythropoesis Stimulating Agent for fighting anemia in the dialysis community.  It’s been a long time coming as Affymax has clawed its way through […]

UnitedHealth Group Okays NxStage – Why Not Aetna!

by Rich Berkowitz … On February 1, 2012, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the largest U.S. health insurer, issued a new health policy for home hemodialysis (HHD).  Previously, UNH and other major insurers declared portable HHD machines, specifically NxStage, were experimental and investigational. Home Dialyzors United (HDU), previously NxStageUsers, had members who were impacted by such […]

Fresenius Shuts Down Evening Shift in UK

 by Rich Berkowitz… The Sheffield & South Yorkshire News reported that Fresenius Medicare Renal Care Services has announced it will be closing the evening shift at the NHS Sheffield Dialysis Centre despite the fact some patients prefer that time so they can continue working.   Fresenius claims the shift is no longer viable because so few […]

A Year of Gifts – A Christmas Wish

 By Rich Berkowitz In many respects, I’ve been getting gifts throughout 2010. It all started last January when ten NxStagers got together to board the Carnival Valor in Miami for a seven day Caribbean cruise dubbed the 2010 Freedom Cruise. It was the first such vacation my wife and I had taken in our lives […]

Cost Cutting Isn’t the Answer to Bundling Meds

  The recent Bio-trends Research Group Special Report: Impact of the Dialysis Bundles Payment System doesn’t present a pretty picture of what dialyzors may face when bundling takes effect. Bio-trends, which provides market research to specialty pharmaceutical companies, surveyed 250 medical directors and renal administrators. They also contacted other key renal industry stakeholders. The bottom […]