The Variable Cost of Kidney Failure- 5 mins
At Nava, our work on the ACA and Medicare supports a mission to improve how government serves it’s citizens through better healthcare systems.
If you heard anything about healthcare in the United States, you’ve likely heard about how expensive it is.
One of the likely culprits of high costs is variation. I wanted to explore just how variable costs are, and discovered some cost data for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure. Using this data, I explored per capita ESRD costs by county and the correlation to HCC risk scores.
- The highest cost ($148,861) is 5 times the lowest cost ($29,549).
- There is an obvious positive correlation between average HCC risk score and average cost.
ESRD Per Capita Expenditures by County
Why is this data available for ESRD and not for other conditions? A likely reason is a piece of legislation passed in 1972: the End Stage Renal Disease Program extends Medicare coverage to those with stage 5 kidney failure, regardless of age.