Prospective Model Outlined Potential Time and Cost Savings of Once-Monthly Anemia Treatment
An activity-based cost analysis demonstrated that if a renal anemia treatment administered once every four weeks replaced thrice weekly administration of epoetin alfa, hemodialysis centers may save an estimated 802 nursing hours and more than $44,000 per year per 100 patients. These data, from a multi-center prospective analysis of anemia management in hemodialysis patients, were presented today during an oral session at the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) 38th National Symposium in Dallas, TX.
“Nephrology nurses serve a pivotal role in the care of patients with renal anemia associated with chronic kidney disease,” said Sheila Doss, RN, CNN, CCRA, Nursing Director of Research, Satellite Healthcare, Inc. and one of the lead study investigators. “This analysis shows that a once-monthly anemia treatment may significantly reduce the time nurses spend managing the administration of renal anemia medication, allowing us to devote more time to other important aspects of patient care.”
About the Analysis
The primary objective of this analysis was to evaluate time and associated in-center supply costs observed while administering epoetin alfa three times a week in patients with renal anemia receiving dialysis, and to model the potential time and cost savings that could be expected if patients switched to a once every four week renal anemia treatment. Researchers concluded that in-center treatment of renal anemia three times a week can be labor-intensive and expensive. The analysis showed that if 100 percent of the patients were given a renal anemia treatment that could be dosed once every four weeks, a greater than 10-fold reduction in time and a similar drop in corresponding costs associated with renal anemia management could result. The researchers noted that time savings are the major contributor to total cost savings. The second component of total cost, non-drug supply costs, are also reduced greater than 10-fold with the model of a once-monthly anemia treatment.
Chronic Kidney Disease and Renal Anemia
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and another 20 million are at increased risk for the condition. CKD is considered a rising global epidemic because it is linked to two of the fastest-growing diseases – diabetes and hypertension. An often under-diagnosed condition, CKD is called a disease multiplier because many of its risk factors are also complications of the disease itself, creating a relentless spiral in which one condition can lead to the exacerbation of the other and, ultimately, to death. In particular, renal anemia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease frequently play this double role.
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