Costs of home assistance for peritoneal dialysis: results of a European survey

Kidney Int Suppl. 2008 Apr;(108):S72-5. doi: 10.1038/


Assisted peritoneal dialysis (aPD) was 'invented' in France in 1977 and was immediately very well reimbursed. This has since helped to maintain a high French peritoneal dialysis (PD) penetration rate among elderly dependent patients who might enjoy a better quality of life by remaining in their own environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the present status of aPD funding in European countries through a questionnaire sent in 2006 to health authorities and commercial PD providers asking about reimbursement modalities (in euro ([euro]) per patient per year) for nurse aPD. Specific funding for aPD only exists in Belgium, Denmark, France, Switzerland, and one region of Spain (Canary Islands). Germany and the United Kingdom are testing pilot schemes. Compared to France, all other countries exhibit significant differences in reimbursement for similar services (performing bag exchanges or disconnections from/to a cycler, exit site care, monitoring weight as well as blood pressure and ultrafiltration, and also including transportation costs) both for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) (23 400 vs 7280 \[euro] per patient per year in Spain) and automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) (18 200 vs 5356 euro per patient per year in Belgium); these differences are difficult to understand and might reflect disparities in cost of living, national health-care budget, and/or mean nurses' salaries. Also, there is no correlation between these rates and the reimbursement for PD therapy itself. Only France and Belgium differentiate assisted CAPD and APD, but these differences do not reflect the time really spent at the patient's home. It is concluded that high reimbursement rates for assistance add significant extra cost to PD, but allow granting many dependent patients all the advantages of home therapy, instead of treating them with in-center hemodialysis which in any case still remains more expensive for our societies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Europe
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / economics*
  • Renal Dialysis / economics