This article was originally published in Start Up
Vascular access has been the weakest link in the chain of dialysis therapy. But VascA hopes to be the first to market with a subcutaneous access port for dialysis.
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CMS pays 33% of its budget for patients with end stage kidney disease, a group that, in terms of patient numbers, accounts for less than 1% of the Medicare population. For all this money spent, mortality rates remain high--the one year mortality rate for patients on hemodialysis stands at 24%, a survival rate that's worse than that of metastatic cancer. In an industry traditionally resistant to change, however, changes are coming, brought about by reimbursement changes and a delivery model that can't scale-up to meet a growing population, making room for new start-ups in the space.
Ask any group of nephrologists what the biggest problem is in hemodialysis today and most likely they'll say vascular access. Vasca Inc. believes this is just the sort of problem that technology can address. The young company hopes to convince a fragmented group of physicians that its subcutaneous valve that bridges patients to the optimal, but less used, permanent type of access option, the arteriovenous fistula, will provide clinical and costs benefits across the continuum of dialysis therapy.
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