WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health announced a new initiative focused on early identification of kidney disease and home dialysis for individuals with chronic kidney disease.
CVS explained that the program will introduce new home hemodialysis technology that should position the company as a “positive disruptor” in the field, with the potential to “help reshape and redefine the kidney care space.”
The company also commented that it plans to make a medical device for at-home dialysis and put it through a clinical trial, with an eye toward winning Food and Drug Administration approval to take the device to market.
Kidney disease affects some 30 million Americans, and it can lead to kidney failure, which afflicts nearly 700,000 Americans.
“In dialysis today, there is an enormous unmet medical need with high levels of mortality, frequent hospitalizations and poor quality of life for affected patients,” remarked Dr. Alan Lotvin, executive vice president and head of CVS Specialty. “As we explored this area it became clear that our enterprise assets from our experience with complex patient home care through Coram, the breadth of our chronic disease management capabilities with CVS Specialty and Accordant, and our deep payor relationships at CVS Caremark will enable us to create a unique value proposition to help reshape dialysis treatment.”
CVS plans a phased rollout of the initiative. Initial efforts will focus on early identification of kidney disease and educating patients in the lifestyle interventions and treatments that might alleviate kidney disease and prevent kidney failure, CVS noted.
The company will initiate a clinical trial to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of a home hemodialysis device that has been designed with features intended to make home hemodialysis simple and safe, and facilitate the longer, more frequent treatments that clinical research suggests can lead to better outcomes for some patient populations, commented CVS. In practical terms, longer and more frequent treatments can only be done at home.
The provision of chronic kidney care costs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nearly $65 billion a year, CVS noted, and dialysis patient care adds another $34 billion to the Medicare budget. Yet, outcomes for Medicare patients treated with traditional in-center hemodialysis are poor.