This study assumed that some patients currently treated at hospital-based haemodialysis centres can be treated with another renal replacement therapy (RRT) modality without any increase in mortality risk and sought to evaluate the monthly cost impact of replacing hospital-based haemodialysis, for which fees are highest, by different proportions of other modalities.Methods
We used a deterministic model tool to predict the outcomes and trajectories of hypothetical cohorts of incident adult end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients for 15 years of RRT (10 different modalities). Our estimates were based on data from 67 258 patients in the REIN registry and 65 662 patients in the French national health insurance information system. Patients were categorized into six subcohorts, stratified for age and diabetes at ESRD onset, and analyses run for each subcohort. We simulated new strategies of care by changing any or all of the following: initial distributions in treatment modalities, transition rates and some costs. Strategies were classified according to their monthly per-patient cost compared to current practices (cost-minimization analysis).Results
Simulations of the status quo for the next 15 years predicted a per-patient monthly cost of €2684 for a patient aged 18–45 years without diabetes and €7361 for one older than 70 years with diabetes. All of the strategies we analysed had monthly per-patient costs lower than the status quo, except for daily home HD. None impaired expected survival. Savings varied by strategy.Conclusions
Alternative strategies may well be less expensive than current practices. The decision to implement new strategies must nonetheless consider the number of patients concerned, feasibility of renal care reorganization, and investment costs. It must also take into account the role of patients' choice and the availability of professionals.