Disease Management Program Reduces Hospital Days for Chronic Renal Disease Patients

Assessment of efforts to provide Comprehensive management of chronic renal disease

From 1997 to 2000, researchers at the Brandeis University Institute for Health Policy supported a study of the renal disease management program operated by Southern California Kaiser Permanente, a regional, nonprofit HMO.

The program featured routine screening for kidney disease, care provided by a multidisciplinary team, and treatment guided by disease management protocols.

The study compared outcomes of patients with end-stage renal disease treated by the HMO to patient outcomes achieved by Medicare fee-for-service providers.

Key Findings

  • Kaiser patients with end-stage renal disease were seen earlier and more regularly by kidney specialists than were the fee-for-service patients.
  • Kaiser patients used significantly fewer hospital days in the year prior to diagnosis with end-stage renal disease than did fee-for-service patients (12 days vs. 16.6 days). They also used significantly fewer hospital days in the year following diagnosis (17 days vs. 28.2 days).


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $293,612.