OPINION

Advancing Kidney Disease Care Through Scope, Scale, and Equity

FIGURE 1  |  Advancing the Kidney Care Model

Circular graph showing how the Kidney Care Model centers around the patient.

Each year, we care for more than 350,000 patients directly, with more than 50 million treatments. In fact, one in two dialysis machines used in the world are made by Fresenius Medical Care. The patients we serve range in age from infants to the elderly. We care for patients with diverse backgrounds and social circumstances, and all wish to live a life of meaning on their own terms. In addition to advancing medical science and our work in the field, we’ve learned a lot from being a trusted partner for patients:

  • Patients desire more choices for treatment options and the power to decide which best supports their personal goals.
  • Patients desire the chance to receive treatment at a location that is convenient to them.
  • They want to stay connected to their own health information and to their care teams.
  • Patients want to be productive and empowered, and not let the disease overcome their wish to contribute to their family and community.
  • They expect the safest care possible with a minimum of side effects.
  • Patients and doctors want the option of a kidney transplant whenever it is deemed the best option for kidney replacement therapy.
  • Undeniably, social determinants of health—such as food security, stable housing, and social justice—have substantial effects on patient outcomes.


Over the course of their lifetime, individuals living with kidney disease will desire different treatment options that fit with their personal goals. Treatment offerings represent various levels of patient participation and different sites of care, including in-center and at-home options, at both earlier and later stages in the disease (Figure 2).

FIGURE 2  |  Treatment options for an individual living with kidney disease

Treatment options for an individual living with kidney disease.

Today, Fresenius Medical Care’s clinical vision is to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time—on the individual’s own terms. This requires breaking down the barriers between CKD and ESKD care so the continuum of these stages of kidney disease are recognized as an integral part of the lifetime journey of the patient with kidney disease. We are compelled to develop new therapies that are accessible, are cost effective, improve cardiovascular health, and offer improved outcomes.

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A FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGY 

Healthcare innovations have enabled patients to live more energetic, productive lives. What might we offer to patients in the future?

  • Dialysis treatments with a lower risk of bleeding? 
  • Surgical implantation of a blood vessel that becomes a patient’s own tissue over time? 
  • A device that automates the control of fluid removal to protect the heart and adjusts to the hemodynamics of the patient? 
  • Access to medications and therapies that afford a better chance of receiving and maintaining a functioning kidney transplant or an engineered organ? 


Fresenius Medical Care is in the best position to move this clinical vision forward in the coming decade in the construct of our three-domain strategy: the Renal Care Continuum, Critical Care, and Complementary Assets. This three-domain strategy represents a path to transform delivery of healthcare and improve patient outcomes on a worldwide basis.

The company’s Clinical and Quality Agenda is the foundation for our medical leadership and brings to life our strategy. The agenda articulates a focus for our clinical vision, the priorities for our field, and the dimensions of collaboration within the organization. The agenda’s priorities help socialize the science of promising innovation, accelerate data-driven healthcare, expand research opportunities that advance medical practice, and support our partnership with physicians around the globe (Figure 3).

FIGURE 3  |  The company’s Clinical and Quality Agenda is built around core themes and provides a framework to realize the company’s patient-centered mission.

The core themes of FMCNAs clinical and quality agenda.

Together with our business partners, the Global Medical Office drives progress that is thoughtfully planned, driven by science, and rooted in evidence. This focused approach paves the way for Fresenius Medical Care to address some of humanity’s most urgent healthcare needs.

For the past quarter century, this has been our history, and it is the basis of our future.

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Meet The Experts

 

FRANKLIN W. MADDUX, MD, FACP
Global Chief Medical Officer, Member of the Management Board  Fresenius Medical Care