Fresenius Medical Care Partners with Sarah Bush Lincoln to Provide Life-Sustaining Care to Rural Patients


The new partnership delivers care for hemodialysis patients at their local hospital, who previously had to travel nearly 100 miles for care, eliminating the need to be transferred to a more urban hospital.

WALTHAM, Mass., (August 9, 2023) – Fresenius Medical Care, the world's leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases has launched an on-site dialysis program with Sarah Bush Lincoln, a regional health system in Mattoon, IL. This program now provides dialysis services with the NxStage VersiHD home hemodialysis system to patients in the local community who previously had to travel 100 miles to receive care. By keeping patients at the local hospital, the doctors and nurses have visibility to all other diagnostics and treatments.

“Rural communities across the country struggle with providing access to high quality health care, especially when more complex procedures like dialysis are needed. Utilizing the smaller, simpler NxStage system makes it possible to provide dialysis to hospitalized patients in their own community, closer to their home and loved ones. This is an added benefit of the NxStage VersiHD in rural hospitals as patients who choose home dialysis have better outcomes than those who require dialysis in an outpatient facility,” said Dr. Timothy Pflederer, Medical Director of the dialysis program at Sarah Bush Lincoln and former President of the Renal Physicians Association.

When Sarah Bush Lincoln first implemented the NxStage VersiHD in partnership with Fresenius Medical Care in September of 2022, they quickly discovered their dialysis volumes grew significantly higher than anticipated, resulting in several hundred treatments thus far.

"It is incredible to see the immediate impact Sarah Bush Lincoln and the local community are experiencing since launching an on-site dialysis program,” said Joseph Turk, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Home Therapies at Fresenius Medical Care. “Now the patients can receive treatments, work on their rehabilitation and have family visits all in one location. We always strive to make a positive impact on patients’ lives. It is very rewarding to see how our system helps dialysis providers and hospitals improve efficiency and patient experience.”

The NxStage VersiHD was chosen by Sarah Bush Lincoln for its ease of use and flexibility, which enabled the care team to start offering dialysis services quickly without a significant capital outlay. The simplicity of the device was designed to have web-based setup and

troubleshooting guidance which also made it easy for dialysis nurses to learn and use the system with only one and a half days of training. The product has a home-like feel, so when their patients are discharged, they may easily transition into continuing their dialysis treatments at home.

Alexandra Boyer, RN, BSN, MBA, CDN, CNML, Procedural Services Director for Sarah Bush Lincoln, and Dr. Pflederer led the team who selected the NxStage VersiHD hemodialysis system for Sarah Bush Lincoln. “We evaluated three dialysis machines and opted for NxStage. All three devices appeared easier to use than conventional systems, but the NxStage system rose to the top for a few key reasons.

  • NxStage does not require us to purchase or lease-to-own the equipment. We opted for a month-to-month license which allows us greater flexibility if the needs of our program change over the years.
  • The NxStage service model sends us a replacement device right away when the machine needs service. This gave us peace of mind that delay in care would not be an issue, as well as eliminated the need for biomedical staff to be trained on the system.
  • The blood tubing and dialyzer cartridge are self-contained, which eliminates the need for heat or chemical disinfection of the system. We also chose to use its pre-mixed dialysate bags, which eliminates the need for water testing. This feature is the safest option for our patients and would help reduce our regulatory risk as water testing and decontamination are heavily regulated. Our first concern is always patient safety.

A few patients now choose to continue home hemodialysis instead of going in-center when they saw how easy NxStage is to use. This has made our outpatient dialysis partners happy since insurance is pushing them to increase home dialysis use,” said Boyer.

Patients and family members credit Sarah Bush Lincoln for exposure into a flexible modality to their dialysis treatments. “It is our mission to improve our patients’ lives, and it’s been powerful to see these patients have the opportunity to remain on-site and then transition home,” said Dr. Brigitte Schiller, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Home Therapies at Fresenius Medical Care.

To hear more patients’ stories or more information about VersiHD, please visit


Despite the health benefits that home hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, this form of therapy is not for everyone. The reported benefits of home hemodialysis may not be experienced by all patients. The risks associated with hemodialysis treatments in any environment include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, fluid overload, low blood pressure, heart-related issues, and vascular access complications. The medical devices used in hemodialysis therapies may add additional risks including air entering the bloodstream and blood loss due to clotting or accidental disconnection of the blood tubing set. Certain risks are unique to the home. Treatments at home are done without the presence of medical personnel and on-site technical support. Patients and their partners must be trained on what to do and how to get medical or technical help if needed.

© 2023 Fresenius Medical Care. All Rights Reserved. Fresenius Medical Care, the triangle logo, NxStage, and Versi are trademarks of Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. APM4899 Rev. A


Fresenius Medical Care is the world's leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases of which around 3.9 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 4,050 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for approximately 344,000 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the leading provider of dialysis products such as dialysis machines or dialyzers. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS).

For more information visit the Company’s website at


Dr. Timothy Pflederer and Alexandra Boyer

Pictured: Dr. Timothy Pflederer, Medical Director of the dialysis program at Sarah Bush Lincoln and Alexandra Boyer, RN, BSN, MBA, CDN, CNML, Procedural Services Director at Sarah Bush Lincoln.


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