Is It Time To Add A Dialysis Clinic To Your Endocrinology Practice?

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At its core, dialysis hasn't changed much in procedure since it began -- the machine takes the place of patient's natural (and non-working) toxin filter, or kidneys, by removing all of the patient's blood, filtering it, and then returning it to the patient's body.

It's a tedious procedure that's absolutely essential at least three times a week for the around 1/2 a million Americans who are suffering from kidney failure at any given time -- most of whom are waiting for a kidney transplant to become available before their disease kills them.

Should you add a dialysis clinic to your endocrinology practice, local clinic, or hospital?

Consider the following facts

  1. The United States Renal System, which tracks data on kidney failure, says that 468,000 patients underwent dialysis in 2013 (the last year for which data is available).  
  2. That represents an increase of nearly 47 times the number of patients who were using dialysis 40 years ago.
  3. Patients are increasingly at risk of developing the need for dialysis -- people are generally living longer than they did in the past and developing more age-related health problems liked high blood pressure and diabetes than they once did.
  4. Patients on dialysis are now living longer -- mortality rates dropped almost 36% in the 12 year period studied.
  5. DIalysis is a consumer market that is ripe for competition -- which means that newcomers on the scene can make a big splash. While dialysis used to only be available in hospitals, dialysis centers are being added to endocrinology practices everywhere and even opened in strip malls.
  6. Two companies currently control 70% of the U.S. dialysis market -- meaning that a smaller clinic that's privately run can compete by personalization more than anything else.

There have been some studies that indicate that forced passive acceptance of the dialysis process (the "sit down and stay quiet" approach) doesn't help patients reduce their stress or pain. Personalized service that focuses on the patient's experience really does pay off in terms of fewer complications and higher patient satisfaction.

What else should you consider?

Before you can decide if you're ready to add a dialysis clinic to your practice, however, you need to consider a few other issues:

  1. Is your business financially sound already? You don't want to strain a business that's still in its infancy or recovering from other financial problems.
  2. Are you ready for the amount of staff it will take to handle the personalization aspect of the successful dialysis clinic today? Most smaller clinics can't compete with price against the nation's two biggest clinic operators -- so patient experience is everything.
  3. Can you recoup your initial losses in a reasonable period of time? This may require consulting with a financial adviser who can help you through the cost/risk analysis.

Overall, the time is ripe to add this service to your business. If your interested in learning more information, talk to a business such as GDP CONSULTING LLC.