Columns

Self-Monitoring in Management of Hypertension  

Ajay K. Singh, MBBS, FRCP, MBA Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts   One of the most common and problematic issues in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the control of blood pressure. Hypertension is associated with both progression of CKD and with a higher rate of cardiovascular complications such as stroke ... Read More »

From the Field: KNOCKED SENSIPARLESS

Rick Collins Chief Operating Officer Sceptre Management Solutions, Inc.   KNOCKED SENSIPARLESS Patients and providers using Sensipar® (cinacalcet) and Parsabiv™ (etelcalcetide) are experiencing significantly increased financial liability due to inconsistent coverage of the drugs by payers and the dramatic increase in the coinsurance amount assigned by Medicare Part B. The biggest causes of potential lost reimbursement for providers are Medicare ... Read More »

From the Field: Losing Money by “Saving” Money

By Rick Collins and Sarah Tolson It is a saying I have never forgotten. “For a company to make a profit, you can cut costs or bring in more money. I prefer to bring in more money.” These words were spoken by the owner of a small company that was struggling to make ends meet. Over the years, I have ... Read More »

From the Board: My Perspective

By Kenneth A. Liss, DO Ironically, the request from the editorial staff for 250 to 500 words coincides with day five of our electronic records being disabled. We have been informed that a “ransomware attack” has forced our service provider to block access to our digital records in the name of privacy and security. Unable to get medication lists, labs, ... Read More »

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 »

From the Field: More Frequent Dialysis Appears Dead for Now

I still remember the excitement expressed by our company’s first client that purchased new, smaller home dialysis machines nearly 20 years ago. While the machines were expensive and would require patients to receive more frequent treatments, the patients’ quality of life would improve significantly, according to the company’s sales representative. Instead of being tied to a standard hemodialysis machine for ... Read More »

From the Chair: Predicting the Risk of Kidney Failure among Kidney Donors

One can only donate if this act doesn’t put one’s own health and identity in serious danger.1 While kidney donation markedly improves the lives of recipients, recent studies have shown that the long-term risk of end- stage renal disease (ESRD) among donors is about 11 times greater than that in matched healthy nondonors2. That said, the absolute 15-year risk of ... 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 »

From the Chair: Home Dialysis Takes a Big Step

Ajay K. Singh, MBBS, FRCP, MBA Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School  Boston, Massachusetts From the early days of hemodialysis, many, including the late Dr. Bernard Scribner at the University of Seattle, worked tirelessly to promote home hemodialysis. In the early 1970s, the use of home hemodialysis peaked, with nearly 40% of all patients in the United States ... Read More »