Northwest Kidney Centers Programs
Northwest Kidney Centers provides 80 percent of dialysis care in King and Clallam counties - more than 233,000 treatments a year for people who would die without dialysis or a kidney transplant. We are known internationally as a champion of home dialysis, a highly effective treatment for kidney failure. Besides our 15 dialysis centers, we provide treatment in 11 hospitals. Our special care service delivers intensive nursing and other assistance to very frail patients.
Kidney Health Education
Northwest Kidney Centers teaches free classes to more than 500 people affected by chronic kidney disease each year. Topics include nutrition, types of dialysis treatment, and kidney transplants. We participate in dozens of events and health fairs annually, including our own Kidney Health Fest for African American Families, which focuses on a high-risk ethnic group. Our nutrition department provides a column to local newspapers and makes periodic TV appearances as well as counseling each patient individually.
Northwest Kidney Centers instigated a collaboration with UW Medicine that resulted in formation of the Kidney Research Institute in 2008. Under the helm of renowned nephrologist Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb, the KRI has attracted more than $20 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Its mission is to explore novel ideas that may result in tangible improvements in the lives of people with kidney disease.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In the past four years, the organization has established new dialysis facilities in Renton, Enumclaw, and on First Hill in Seattle; and established a comprehensive kidney resource center, including a dialysis clinic, research suite, training rooms, and a museum showcasing the history of dialysis treatment.
A revised Medicare reimbursement system started in 2011 and altered the ground rules for Northwest Kidney Centers' biggest source of revenue. National health care reform will very likely create major shifts in private insurance payment for dialysis services as well. Competition is increasing from very large, for-profit enterprises that provide dialysis with economies of scale but often without the specialized services Northwest Kidney Centers offers. Meanwhile kidney disease is a growing threat, up 30 percent in the past decade and now affecting one in seven American adults. We welcome support in our work.