Medicare's End-Stage Renal Disease Program

Current Status and Future Prospects

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 18, no. 1, Jan./Feb. 1999, p. 161-179

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1998

by Allen R. Nissenson, Richard A. Rettig

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The twenty-five years of the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) program have been characterized by remarkable clinical achievements, which have prolonged and improved the quality of life for thousands of patients. As the program enters the next millennium, it faces considerable challenges: As the number and acuity of patients increase, the availability of trained nephrologists will decrease, and total costs will continue to rise. Policymakers will need to work closely with the renal professional and patient communities to develop creative approaches to delivering and financing ESRD care that is of the highest quality, yet is affordable.

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