commitment to Our patients
Our industry is rapidly evolving, and we're focused on transforming the future of healthcare through research, innovation, and compassion. We create comprehensive solutions for people living with chronic kidney disease and related conditions. Together, we’re working to provide superior care that improves the quality of life of every patient, every day.
15% of our TREATMENTS
are on home dialysis.
visited PatientHub, an application that helps patients manage their care and stay connected with their care team.
1,561 fresenius kidney care centers
achieved the highest rating with four and five stars in clinical quality as measured by the U.S. government.
Supporting Patients remotely during covid-19
We expanded telehealth and other technologies to support patients during COVID-19. Highlights include:
- A record 807,000+ remote visits between patients, care teams, and physicians by the end of 2020
- Since launching in April 2020, our home therapies patients in metropolitan and micropolitan areas accessed telehealth at similar rates to home patients in small towns and rural areas
- An update to ProviderHub, part of our connected health platform, allowing physicians to better monitor home dialysis patients
- New health screening and workflow functionality added to Acumen® 2.0, our next-generation electronic health record software for all physicians
Advocating for COVID-19 Vaccinations
With a history of successful seasonal vaccination of patients, as a community we saw the opportunity to leverage our infrastructure and access to patients as a way to support the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine effort. Starting in late 2020 we advocated for a direct federal allocation of the vaccine. As part of our agreement reached with the Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to vaccination of our own, we supported smaller dialysis companies across the country. Even before the federal allocation, we worked with local and state health officials to deliver vaccines as quickly as possible to our high-risk patient population.
record growth in home therapies
We’re empowering patients to choose home therapies by offering support, education, advocacy, nursing, and technology. Choosing home dialysis can mean greater flexibility, fewer food restrictions, and better outcomes. We believe that every patient should be empowered to do their dialysis treatments at home. The 2020 results are in:
- A record 14% increase in home dialysis treatments (home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis combined), amounting to 15% of our treatments on home dialysis
- A 37% increase in home hemodialysis treatments
- A 25% increase in home training
The highest levels of care
- According to the U.S. government’s Five-Star Rating System, in 2020, 771 Fresenius Kidney Care centers achieved the highest rating with five stars in clinical quality, up from 762 centers in 2019
- Fresenius Kidney Care also increased the number of four- and five-star centers to 489 in the patient survey star ratings, up from 440 in the previous survey period
Helping people live their best life with kidney disease means providing them with resources and support at every stage of their journey. Our free KidneyCare:365 class is offered to patients, care partners, and family members, and can be taken with an educator or self-paced online. The class covers:
- Symptoms and stages of chronic kidney disease
- Eating well with kidney disease
- Coping and getting support
- Treatment options — including home dialysis
- Additional resources
We plan to educate more than 200,000 patients through KidneyCare:365 classes between 2021 and 2025.
peritoneal dialysis patient education experience
Our Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Patient Education Experience includes a comprehensive home therapy training program administered through a mobile app platform. Through this new program, patients receive thorough and consistent training customized to their individual needs, improving their confidence and ability to perform PD at home. Our goal is to have 90% of PD patients using the PD Patient Education Experience by 2025.
We created a full suite of insurance education materials to support people in understanding their options. With Medicare Advantage becoming available to those with end stage renal disease and special enrollment periods, we are providing resources to ensure people find the best insurance options for them.
SUPPORTING PATIENTS EVERY DAY
caring for the whole patient
Fresenius Kidney Care addresses the unique needs of every patient — offering education, nutritional resources, mental health support, financial guidance, and more, as we provide care to those living with kidney disease. We believe emotional well-being is just as important as physical well-being, and we customize care for each patient to help them stay true to their passions and goals and thrive.
People exploring their dialysis treatment options should be informed about every treatment option available to them. Many people are excellent candidates for treatments such as peritoneal dialysis (PD) or home hemodialysis (HHD), both of which are administered in the home and offer a range of health and lifestyle benefits. Fresenius Kidney Care offers education, training, programs, and support to help home dialysis patients be successful. Our Patient Consultants (employees) and Patient Advocates (patients and family members) educate and support patients and families throughout their journey. In 2020, Patient Consultants connected with more than 7,000 prospective patients and family members via email and phone (resulting in 558 patients choosing home hemodialysis), while Patient Advocates participated in 1,157 virtual events.
Transitional Care Units
In 2020, Fresenius Kidney Care opened 115 new Transitional Care Units (TCUs), which help people recently diagnosed with kidney disease learn about their treatment options (including home dialysis), and become more empowered to manage their own care. TCUs are separate spaces within our dialysis centers that have specialized care teams dedicated to onboarding patients new to dialysis. This setting provides people living with kidney failure both the education and time to choose the therapy best suited for them. Patients in a TCU choose home at almost twice the rate of our total patient population. Listen to our Field Notes podcast episode: How Transitional Care Units Empower Patients to Manage Their Care.
Unnecessary hospitalizations are one of the biggest drivers of higher cost to the healthcare system. One of the ways we reduce hospitalizations is by developing innovative predictive models that can analyze hundreds of data points, helping us with early identification of those individuals most at risk from fluid overload, infection, and other factors often hidden without these advanced tools.
Recognized Customer Service
In 2020, our Renal Therapies Group customer support team received the distinct honor of being the first in our industry to be named a J.D. Power Certified Customer Service Program. The J.D. Power Certified Customer Service Program recognition is based on successfully completing an evaluation and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. The Renal Therapies Group Customer Service team assists home patients and dialysis facilities throughout the United States in ordering dialysis supplies. The team focuses on providing an effortless experience for patients and healthcare providers through active listening, positive language, and forward resolution.
promoting patient-centered care through health information exchange
Fresenius Kidney Care joined CommonWell Health Alliance data exchange services through a partnership with Cerner. CommonWell Health Alliance's bridge to the national Carequality interoperability framework allows shareable information to be exchanged with member hospitals and physicians, and fosters care coordination and collaboration. Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis centers exchange more than 650,000 clinical documents each month with more than 2,700 participating providers through health information exchanges to facilitate transitions of care.
VALUE BASED CARE PROGRAMS
Our value based care programs allow for partnerships with public and private payors to reduce the overall cost of care while helping people with kidney disease reach their health goals. We support the entire spectrum of renal care, from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to end stage renal disease (ESRD), including kidney transplantation, supportive care, and all modalities of dialysis. With unparalleled industry expertise, we leverage artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, technological capabilities, and platforms to support early interventions.
ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP AND INFECTION PREVENTION
Improving antibiotic prescribing and use is critical to effectively treat infections, protect patients from harm caused by unnecessary antibiotic use, and combat antibiotic resistance. Our Antibiotic Stewardship Program includes a care pathway for catheter-related blood stream infection, using technology to assist in monitoring appropriate treatment of infections.
Reporting bloodstream infections is a national quality measure for outpatient dialysis facilities. One of the ways Fresenius Kidney Care is improving antibiotic use is by providing peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients antibiotics to have at home, so they can treat infections earlier. To decrease time to peritonitis treatment, clinicians can prescribe broad-spectrum intraperitoneal and oral antibiotic kits per an algorithm. The algorithm also allows for narrowing of the PD antibiotics once the organism is known. Kits are self-administered by patients in the home with the assistance of nursing staff utilizing technology platforms such as telehealth. Timely self-treatment with antibiotics at home decreases barriers to effective care.
Additionally, infection is one of the leading causes of death among patients with ESRD, which is why infection prevention is a significant focus during patient training. We guide patients toward consistent infection control practices and review infection control techniques during monthly visits. To help further combat infection, we leverage our Infection Surveillance Platform (ISP). The ISP combines data from multiple systems in one convenient location, collects more comprehensive data of active infection events, and provides the information needed to make clinical decisions that effectively manage infection.
listening to patient needs
patient experience team
Our Patient Experience Team helps us gather insights and drive action based on feedback from those who rely on us most. We developed our new Voice of the Customer platform for a more systematic approach to listening and identifying opportunities for improvement. Recently, we’ve integrated the patient experience into performance management, employee training, and company-wide communications and meetings.
In 2020, our patients provided feedback through our annual patient experience surveys:
kidney care community
Our Kidney Care Community is an online forum that provides information and inspiration for anyone impacted by chronic kidney disease. Users can ask questions, tell stories, give and receive support, and make connections. By the end of 2020, we had 2,426 community members.
SURVEY SHOWS SIGNIFICANT GAP BETWEEN DESIRE AND ABILITY TO AGE IN PLACE
Aging in place refers to the ability of an adult to live in their existing home or community regardless of age, income, or ability. As a leader in chronic disease care, we commissioned a survey to better understand what is impacting individuals’ ability to age in place. The survey revealed that nearly 2 in 3 American adults (65%) have a goal to age in place, while only 1 in 3 (33%) believe that goal is realistic. It also uncovered the three main factors that influence individuals’ ability to age in place: social determinants of health, presence and availability of one’s caregiver network, and perceived quality of care. Individuals with chronic kidney disease have a strong desire to age in place, but many don’t believe they can achieve that goal. We have dedicated resources focused on combatting the barriers to aging in place, including patient education, home therapies education, social worker access, care partner support, connected health technologies, and more.
Improving time on therapy
Home hemodialysis gives patients the opportunity for greater independence and control over their time and health outcomes. Our goal is 98.5% therapy retention per month by 2025. This goal is exclusive of our commitment to promoting transition of therapy via transplant services. We continue to support patients and care teams with the education and resources they need to improve the opportunity for transplantation, including a comprehensive curriculum engaging all members of the care team to understand the patient’s goals and responsibilities in supporting kidney transplant as a treatment option.
POWERFUL SOLUTIONS FOR COMPASSIONATE CARE
In an effort to provide high-quality, personalized care, in 2020 we:
- Launched theHub: a connected health platform with enhanced remote patient monitoring that has been shown to improve patient outcomes
- Added hundreds of new direct patient care staff specialized in home therapies
- Educated 50,460 people living with chronic kidney disease or end stage renal disease about home dialysis with the help of 190 Fresenius Kidney Care Advocates
- Provided more than 70,000 live workshops and online courses through ourAdvanced Renal Education Program (AREP)
- Performed 173,481 combined outpatient procedures at Azura Vascular Care and National Cardiovascular Partners locations
- Focused on early referrals of kidney disease patients at Fresenius Physician Solutions, we netted a 21% improvement of new start dialysis patients entering via office
- For people with chronic kidney disease who are eligible or enrolled in certain value based care programs, we have partnered with Teladoc Health, the leading applied health signals company, to support our teams in delivering targeted, real-time care for people managing diabetes or hypertension and late-stage chronic kidney disease through remote monitoring, data science, and personalized coaching
One of the most reported barriers to treatment for our patients is inadequate and/or unreliable transportation. Through a joint venture partnership announced in 2019 with Ambulnz, a North American transportation services company/provider, Fresenius Medical Care aims to improve access to affordable transportation for dialysis patients with an innovative solution for non-emergency medical transportation patients. Ambulnz provides rides to and from treatments, and for non-life-threatening medical emergencies, improving the patient experience. Ambulnz services have been introduced in New York, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, and Wisconsin, with expansion to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland planned in 2022.
I have personal relationships there. We talk about life stuff — the news, sports, movies, etc. It’s a family atmosphere. It is more than them doing their job.
Mike Roberson, Home Dialysis Patient with Fresenius Kidney Care
Contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
All corporate responsibility data is from 2020 unless otherwise noted.