Study indicates that structured education and community support is effective in getting patients to choose enduring treatment options with confidence
At the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings, this week in Orlando, Cricket Health will deliver promising results of a patient study that indicate that a structured patient education program coupled with a robust, integrated patient and provider online community significantly increases the likelihood that patients with late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) choose a treatment option (home dialysis, pre-emptive transplant, palliative care) other than in-center hemodialysis.
Cricket Health recruited 27 patients with CKD stages 3b, 4, and 5 from four nephrology practices in California.
After going through the Modality Choice program, 19 patients (70%) were able to confidently make a choice regarding treatment and management options. Among these patients, 17 (89.5%) chose a home dialysis therapy and 18 (95%) expressed interest in a kidney transplant evaluation.
Only three patients were unable to reach a decision after program completion, and five are still going through the program.
Patients required an average of 34 days to make a decision, highlighting the need for adequate time allocation in order to make treatment decisions.
“We found that if patients are well-informed and receive timely information and support, most will choose some form of home dialysis over center-based hemodialysis,” said Anna Malkina, MD, a nephrologist from the University of California-San Francisco and Medical Director for Cricket Health, who will deliver the results at the Spring Meetings on April 20. “Cricket Health’s Modality Choice program does precisely that—it is a 30- to 60-day program for late-stage CKD patients, during which we help them get to an informed, confident decision about their ESRD treatment path. Our program utilizes a virtual clinical care team of nurses, trained patient mentors, rich educational content and a supportive patient community.”
CKD affects nearly 20 million adults in the United States, but because the condition can remain asymptomatic for a long period of time, most patients go undiagnosed until they have already progressed toward kidney failure. Patients diagnosed with late-stage CKD or ESRD are thrown into a healthcare management system with critical education and care coordination gaps.
This population is often pipelined into narrow and expensive treatment options, like in-center dialysis modalities, that fail to account for a patient’s lifestyle and personal values. Lack of timely, comprehensive and structured education represents an enormous missed opportunity to increase rates of home dialysis therapies, kidney transplantation among eligible patients, and improved health outcomes.
“At Cricket Health, we believe the entire model for managing chronic kidney disease needs to be turned on its head,” said CEO Arvind Rajan. “Since launching in late Q4 2016, we have been pleased by its effectiveness at breaking through patient denial and fear, and getting patients to choose ESRD options that are most in line with their goals and values.”
About Cricket Health
Cricket Health is a comprehensive kidney care provider with a personalized, evidence-based approach to managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Cricket works with payers and providers to identify patients who are at risk, acts early to slow progression of the disease, and delivers patient-centered, personalized kidney care through a multidisciplinary care team. If a patient progresses to ESRD, Cricket educates them about their treatment options and delivers patient-centered care, whether it is transplant support, home dialysis, conservative care, or in-center dialysis. Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco and Cambridge, the company’s leadership includes some of the leading experts in nephrology, health care, and technology. Learn more at www.crickethealth.com or follow us @crickethealth.