Treatment for kidney failure is expensive, but Federal health insurance plans
pay much of the cost, usually up to 80 percent. Often, private insurance or
State programs pay the rest. Your social worker can help you locate resources
for financial assistance. For more information, see the NIDDK fact sheet
Help for Treatment of Kidney Failure.
Hope Through Research
The NIDDK, through its Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic
Diseases, supports several programs and studies devoted to improving treatment
for patients with progressive kidney disease and permanent kidney failure,
including patients on hemodialysis.
- The End-Stage Renal Disease Program promotes research to reduce
medical problems from bone, blood, nervous system, metabolic,
gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and endocrine abnormalities in kidney
failure and to improve the effectiveness of dialysis and transplantation.
The research focuses on evaluating different hemodialysis schedules and on
finding the most useful information for measuring dialysis adequacy. The
program also seeks to increase kidney graft and patient survival and to
maximize quality of life.
- The HEMO Study, completed in 2002, tested the theory that a
higher dialysis dose and/or high-flux membranes would reduce patient
mortality (death) and morbidity (medical problems). Doctors at 15 medical
centers recruited more than 1,800 hemodialysis patients and randomly
assigned them to high or standard dialysis doses and high- or low-flux
filters. The study found no increase in the health or survival of patients
who had a higher dialysis dose, who dialyzed with high-flux filters, or who
- The U.S. Renal Data System (USRDS) collects, analyzes, and
distributes information about the use of dialysis and transplantation to
treat kidney failure in the United States. The USRDS is funded directly by
the NIDDK in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The USRDS publishes an Annual Data Report, which identifies the total
population of people being treated for kidney failure; reports on incidence,
prevalence, death rates, and trends over time; and develops data on the
effects of various treatment approaches. The report also helps identify
problems and opportunities for more focused special studies of renal
- The Hemodialysis Vascular Access Clinical Trials Consortium is
conducting a series of multicenter, clinical trials of drug therapies to
reduce the failure and complication rate of arteriovenous (AV) grafts and
fistulas in hemodialysis. These studies are randomized and placebo
controlled, which means the studies meet the highest standard for scientific
accuracy. AV grafts and fistulas prepare the arteries and veins for regular
dialysis. See the NIDDK fact sheet Vascular Access for Hemodialysis for more
information. Recently developed drugs to prevent blood clots may be
evaluated in these large clinical trials.
The U.S. Government does not endorse or favor any specific commercial
product or company. Trade, proprietary, or company names appearing in this
document are used only because they are considered necessary in the context of
the information provided. If a product is not mentioned, the omission does not
mean or imply that the product is unsatisfactory.