Maintaining an adequate and functioning vascular access is critical to providing efficient hemodialysis treatments for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. While ESRD patients comprise only slightly more than 1% of the total Medicare population, total Medicare expenditures of $28.6 billion in 2012 for these individuals patients represented 5.6% of total Medicare costs. A significant percentage of these costs are associated with the creation and maintenance of hemodialysis access with many patients often requiring multiple interventions to treat clotted and failing AV fistulas and grafts.  According to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) Medicare annual spending per patient in 2011 for hemodialysis patients with a failing AV graft was $112,333 compared to only $24,438 for patients with a functional hemodialysis graft. Identifying options for decreasing vascular access related complications would lead to improved clinical outcomes while also decreases costs to the healthcare system.
1. U.S. Renal Data System, USRDS 2014 Annual Data Report.
2. U.S. Renal Data System, USRDS 2013 Annual Data Report.