Medicare pays for most dialysis in the US. And, Medicare rules (since 2008!) require clinics to tell you about ALL of your treatment options—and where to get them. But, sadly, we still hear from people who were not told. And, some dialysis staff don't know themselves. To have the best life you can on dialysis, choose a treatment that will fit your life. And, to do that, you need information. That's why we're here.
Home Dialysis Central is a one-stop shop. Learn about ALL types of dialysis and what they can mean for your life.
Who developed Home Dialysis Central?
The non-profit Medical Education Institute (MEI) built Home Dialysis Central. MEI is a non-profit that was founded in 1992 with a mission to help people with chronic disease learn to manage and improve their health. You may know us through:
- Help, I Need Dialysis!
- The dialysis lifestyle "bible" by Dori Schatell, MS and Dr. John Agar.
- Kidney School
- 16 modules of self-paced kidney learning.
- Life Options
- How to live long and live well with kidney disease.
- The Core Curriculum for the Dialysis Technician
- The premier training manual for technicians.
Why focus on home dialysis?
At MEI, our passion is helping people with kidney disease live as well as they can. That means knowing as much as you can about your disease. And, it means taking an active role in your treatment. Home dialysis is the only type of dialysis where you HAVE to get training to learn how to care for yourself. That's one reason we focus on it. The other is that more dialysis is more like having healthy kidneys.
People who dialyze at home tend to feel a lot better—and live longer. Many people don't know that some of the first Americans who began dialysis in the mid-1960s are still alive today! For these pioneers, home treatment was the only treatment option.
At MEI, we believe home dialysis is good for you. It's also good for providers and payers—and can even help ease the nursing shortage. It will take a long-term, focused effort to help everyone with kidney disease get access to home treatments.
Doctors would choose home dialysis
MEI did a national survey of U.S. nephrologists. Nearly 600 doctors took part—making this the biggest study of U.S. nephrologists ever published. In it, we found that just 6% would choose standard in-center hemodialysis if their kidneys failed. So, 92% of U.S. patients get a treatment that doctors would not choose for themselves! That's just not right.
Changing the world
There is more home dialysis now than there was in 2004 when we started this site—and we believe our efforts are part of the reason why:
- That Medicare policy we told you about requiring clinics to tell you about all of your options? It was our idea and we successfully pushed for it.
- We told dialysis companies how and why they would do better with strong home programs—and they heard us.
- We built a database to track home programs, so you can find one.
- We also built maps so companies could see what areas were not served—and fill the gaps.
- We give talks and do meeting exhibits all over the U.S. to teach dialysis staff about options so they can teach you.
- We built a free tool (called the MATCH-D) to help clinics think outside the box about who might be a good candidate for a home treatment.
- We offer a manual to help clinic staff teach patients how to put in their own needles—with full-color pictures of each step.
- We answer questions – in our message boards, in emails, on Facebook, and by phone – to help you get home and succeed once you're there.
- We wrote the book on dialysis and lifestyle – Help, I Need Dialysis! to help you get accurate answers.
Our website does not take any outside ads. Funding for Home Dialysis Central comes from our sponsors, which include:
- Clinics and companies that offer home programs
- Companies that make products used in home dialysis
- Other non-profits and groups that want to help us boost the numbers of patients who use home dialysis
If you would like to help our efforts, we do take donations. They are tax deductible. Learn about the ways to sponsor our site.