A viewer messaged KidneyBuzz.com and asked: "Hi my partner is on Home Dialysis, we live in a one bedroom flat with no washer. We only have a Television and Refrigerator, but since starting Home Hemodialysis our bill shot up from $74.00 to $250.00 per month! Right now he is on Dialysis 4 times a week for 4 hours each time which is doing him great. We cannot afford the cost, however. Do you have any helpful advice?"
If you are a Dialysis patient, you basically have two choices where you can get your Dialysis Treatments: In a Dialysis Center or at your home. While both options are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private Insurance Companies, there are some out-of-pocket expenses which Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis should consider before deciding on Dialysis at home.
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Chronic Kidney Disease patients who are considering the Hemodialysis Treatment option should know that basic supplies such as Dialysis Machines, lines, needles, tape, gauze pads, Dialysate, home scale, and laboratory supplies are often paid for and supplied by their Insurance Companies and Dialysis Providers, just as they are in a center. However, Chronic Kidney Disease patients should consider the fact that their electric, gas and water bills may increase slightly. What's more, some plumbing and wiring changes in the home may be needed, and shelving or more space may be required for equipment and supplies.
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Hence, there is a trade-off. Although Chronic Kidney Disease patients do not have to abide by a scheduled time for treatment based on availability, travel to and from a Dialysis Facility, and contend with multiple staff who will insert needles into their Fistulas; Home Hemodialysis may come with added and at times hidden costs.
Some in the Chronic Kidney Disease community have noted that their electric bill alone, "went up by about $50.00 a month on average." Others mention, "that's low," and that their electric bill went up by much more.
The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) released a 2008 article which highlighted costs that are often overlooked when considering Home Hemodialysis. They included the following:
- The cost of furnishing and installing waste and water piping as required will range between $750.00 and $1500.00.
- Licensed electrician fees associated with necessary contractual work will typically run around $500.00 to install this type of circuit.
- Installing and maintaining your home equipment will come with a cost of upwards of $1000.00. Some clinics require the patient to cover these costs, and others, like the Northwest Kidney Centers will provide a stipend of $1000.00 or more towards their installation. Costs will also vary depending on which area of the country a patient lives, according to AAKP.
- Dialysis patients will need a storage area for supplies, and some shelving to accommodate them. "The used lines and equipment from your home treatments will increase the amount of garbage you accumulate for waste disposal," said the article.
- AAKP also highlights the fact that if a Chronic Kidney Disease patient needs to Dialyze in a chair, they will often have to absorb that cost. The going rate for a recliner can vary greatly from $400 and up. Many patients choose to conduct Dialysis from their couches or beds to avoid the cost.
To save power, Chronic Kidney Disease patients may follow the usual and well publicized standard steps to reduce excess household electricity use such as consider using energy saving light bulbs such as LED Lights, turning off common household items when they are not in use (heating and cooling, computers, TVs, and other appliances), timer switches that turn household electrical equipment off at a given power-point. In extreme situations, a Dialysis patient may consider renewable power-assisted options such as solar panels.
Dialysis patients should be aware that the power consumption from NxStage System which is used widely in the United States, is only 25% of the power used by other Home Hemodialysis options. Also, if you are currently having a tough time affording your utility bill due to your Hemodialysis machine, check with your local public Utility Company for available programs which may help. Some public utilities offer reduced rates for Chronic Kidney Disease patients on Dialysis. There is usually an application process, with which a Social Worker can help.
Greendialysis.org noted that by "using a Peritoneal Dialysate cycler system (e.g. a Baxter Home Choice 2™ or a Fresenius Liberty™ cycler), you will face a more modest power bill, but nevertheless, an additive cost." Have you noticed an increase in your energy bill since starting Home Dialysis? Let us know and join in on the discussion with the over 16,600 KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page Friends. Remember, your voice matters and we value your opinion and insights. Also, for the latest Breaking News and Information about how those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes can better manage and improve their quality of lives, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day.