Author Archives: Kerri Fitzgerald

From the Field: Reimbursement for Parsabiv™ and Sensipar®

Sarah Tolson For the first time since the inception of the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System, two drugs qualify for payment outside of the dialysis base rate. The renal community is buzzing with questions about reimbursement, purchasing, clinical protocol, and supply chain logistics for Parsabiv™ (etelcalcetide) and Sensipar® (cinacalet). I’ve been speaking with clients to discuss their plans ... Read More »

From the Chair: Partial versus Radical Nephrectomy for Kidney Cancer: Comparative Effect on Kidney Function

Ajay K. Singh, MBBS, FRCP, MBA Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School  Boston, Massachusetts In 2017, there were approximately 64,000 new cases of kidney cancer in the United States1, representing nearly 4% of all cancer cases. Patients with kidney cancer are usually evaluated for surgical management unless the cancer is advanced. The traditional surgical approach has been a ... Read More »

Serum Phosphorus and Risk of Graft Failure or Mortality in Transplant Recipients

Orlando—Recipients of kidney transplants may be at risk for mild hyperphosphatemia, a putative risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), loss of renal function, and mortality. There are few data available from large, multicenter cohorts of stable kidney transplant recipients that assess the relationships between serum phosphorus and the development of CVC outcomes, graft failure, or all-cause death. Basma Merhi, MD, ... Read More »

Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter for Urgent Start Dialysis vs Elective Start

Orlando—Previous studies have validated the successful use of percutaneous peritoneal dialysis catheters used in urgent-start dialysis. However, there are few data available on long-term outcomes of percutaneous peritoneal dialysis used for immediate dialysis. Ammar Almehmi, MD, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study designed to compare the outcomes of percutaneous peritoneal dialysis catheters that were used for urgent start versus elective ... Read More »

Variability of Rates of Hyperkalemia among Patients on Hemodialysis

Orlando—Patients with end-stage renal disease have a high prevalence of cardia arrhythmias and sudden death. Patients more commonly experience hyperkalemia during the long inter-dialytic period, creating an association with increased mortality. Bhupinder Singh, MD, and colleagues recently conducted a prospective, observational study designed to examine the incidence of hyperkalemia, defined as serum potassium >5.0 mEq/L, as well as hypokalemia, and ... Read More »

From the Field: Cheap Billing Can Be Costly

Rick Collins “We can do your billing for much lower fees than you’re paying now!” While this is a tantalizing phrase for physicians, management, ownership, and accountants, paying for “cheap” billing frequently costs you much more than any savings you realize from the cheaper billing rate. To illustrate this point, following are personal experiences from our company’s 20 years in ... Read More »

October 2017: Abstract Roundup

Acute Kidney Injury 30-Day Outcomes Poor Following Discharge from the ED with AKI Clinical Journal of the American Nephrology Society. 2017, doi: 10.2215/CJN.10431016 Rey R. Acedillo, MD, and colleagues conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study designed to examine the characteristics and outcomes of patients discharged home from an emergency department (ED) with acute kidney injury (AKI). The cohort included 6346 ... Read More »

October 2017: News Briefs

LUTONIX® 035 DCB Granted FDA Approval In late August, the US FDA granted premarket approval to the LUTONIX® 035 drug coated balloon (DCB) PTA catheter. The LUTONIX 035 is now available in the United States. In a press release from C.R. Bard, Inc., the manufacturer of the catheter, Timothy M. Ring, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “This approval offers ... Read More »

Risk of Melanoma in Kidney Transplant Recipients Associated with Older Age, Sex, and Donor Type

Patients who undergo kidney transplantation for long-term curative treatment of end-stage renal disease are required to maintain lifelong immunosuppressive treatment to ensure adequate graft function. The immunosuppression therapy is associated with an increase in the risk of certain kinds of cancers, particularly cancer of the skin, leading to increased morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients. The risk of skin cancer, ... Read More »

Differentiating between Allograft Active Rejection and Allograft Injury

Long-term survival of a renal transplant depends on accurate and timely detection of allograft rejection and effective treatment. The standard for diagnosis of rejection is histology obtained via needle biopsy; however, the technique is rarely utilized for surveillance due to high cost, complicated logistics, and potential complications, as well as patient discomfort and inconvenience. A possible noninvasive marker for diagnosis ... Read More »