NKF conference aims to bring home dialysis to the forefront of kidney failure treatment

More than 70 clinicians, researchers, policy makers, patients, care partners and industry representatives converged for the National Kidney Foundation’s annual KDOQI Home Dialysis Conference. The gathering is intended to develop ways to remove barriers to home dialysis and foster a path for the treatment of kidney failure at home, rather than in a center, according to an NKF press release.

At this year’s meeting, attendees launched the Home Dialysis Quality Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort. “There was palpable energy in the room that those present are ready to spread throughout the nephrology community so that we can achieve a ‘home-first’ philosophy,” Erich Ditschman, conference co-chair, said in the release.

Three groups presented projects that focused on ways to overcome barriers to getting, or keeping, patients on home dialysis, including overcoming a lack of training and support for care partners. Based on this work, a new KDOQI initiative will aim to raise awareness about home dialysis, find ways to encourage home dialysis as a first choice for treatment for kidney failure and prevent patients on home dialysis from quitting treatment at home because they are burned out, according to the release. The teams noted that two keys for successful home dialysis are the creation of opportunities for mentorships among patients and caregivers and education of all kidney professionals and patients.

“I was delighted to see the enthusiasm of all of the participants to make home dialysis the first therapy for patients with end-stage kidney disease,” Michael Rocco, MD, MSCE, conference co-chair, said in the release.

“KDOQI has been improving care and outcomes for all stages of kidney disease for over 20 years, by educating patients and professionals, providing peer mentors and working with CMS to help align payments with the best clinical practices,” Kerry Willis, PhD, chief scientific officer of NKF, said in the release.