Study compares scheduled vs. emergency-only dialysis among undocumented immigrants

Bottom Line: A unique opportunity made it feasible for uninsured patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who received emergency-only dialysis in Dallas, Texas, to enroll in private, commercial health insurance plans in 2015 and that made it possible for researchers to compare scheduled vs. emergency-only dialysis among undocumented immigrants with ESRD. This observational study included 181 undocumented immigrants, 105 of whom received insurance coverage and enrolled in scheduled dialysis and 76 of whom remained uninsured. Regularly scheduled dialysis (the standard of care for ESRD) compared with emergency-only dialysis (administered when a patient becomes life-threateningly ill) was associated with reductions in mortality, health care utilization and costs among patients with ESRD. The authors call for scheduled dialysis to be the standard of care for any patient with ESRD in the United States.

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Authors: Oanh Kieu Nguyen, M.D., M.A.S., of the University of California, San Francisco, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5866)

Editor’s Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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