When hemodialysis first started in the United States in the 1960s, a large percentage of patients performed their treatments at home. However, because of reimbursement issues, home hemodialysis (HHD) gradually succumbed to an in-center approach and eventually a mindset. Since the introduction of nightly HHD by Uldall and Pierratos in 1993, there has been a resurgence of interest in HHD. This paper describes the different types of home hemodialysis being performed as of December 31, 2007 in this country. Because neither the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) nor the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks break down home dialysis into the different modalities, a provider questionnaire was sent out to 2 major providers, a number of mid-level providers and other providers known to do HHD. In addition, a questionnaire was sent out to 3 machine providers to obtain the number of patients using their machine for HHD as of December 31, 2007. The results showed that 91.7% of patients are dialyzing in-center, 7.3% are doing peritoneal dialysis, and 0.7% are doing HHD. Currently about 1% of ESRD patients in the United States are doing home hemodialysis. NxStage, however, has started 1000 patients in the past year on short-daily home hemodialysis. Patients are beginning to understand that there are better options than 3 times a week in-center dialysis. And as a result of the "HEMO Study," nephrologists now believe that longer and more frequent dialysis is a better therapy for ESRD patients. Therefore, promotion of HHD should become a priority for the renal community in the future.
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