Saul Marquez, Host at Outcomes Rocket Podcast

Transforming Kidney Care

Friday September 25th 2020

Transforming Kidney Care


Chronic kidney disease is on the rise. According to kidney.org, 10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease, and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment.

In the US, the CDC reported that 15% of US adults are estimated to have CKD. That’s approximately 37 million people! 2

The number of people with CKD is staggering! 


Causes of the Silent Killer

What is more alarming is that 9 out of 10 adults with mild CKD do not know that they have it, and 1 in 2 people with severe CKD are unaware of it. CKD is a silent killer. Unlike other diseases that happen fast, this disease develops over time so many people do not realize they have it until they are already in the worst stage. 

The National Kidney Foundation website lists diabetes and high blood pressure as the main causes of chronic kidney disease. Together, this duo becomes a formidable team that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. 

But those two are not the only culprits. Inherited diseases, lupus and other diseases that affect the immune system, inflammation and damage to the kidney, obstructions caused by kidney stones. and frequent UTIs were also included in the list of conditions that affect the kidney. 


Initiatives on Kidney Care

Since we already have an existing major problem, there should also be existing impactful solutions. 

One of the available solutions is the Advancing Kidney health campaign, an initiative to improve the lives of Americans suffering from kidney disease, expand options for American patients, and reduce healthcare costs. The initiative provides specific solutions to deliver on three goals:

  • Fewer patients developing kidney failure
  • Reduced number of  Americans receiving dialysis in dialysis centers
  • More kidneys available for transplant. 3

Diseases come with a cost. In the case of CKD, New York Times reported that Medicare covers about half a million people with end-stage kidney disease and spends disproportionately on their care. 

There are also companies like DaVita Kidney Care that focus on educating and helping people on kidney care. 


In Depth Conversation About Kidney Disease and Kidney Care

DaVita is a Fortune 500® health care provider with the goal of transforming care delivery to improve the quality of life of patients. 

In May 2000, after years of extensive effort to recover from near bankruptcy, the company was renamed to DaVita, an Italian phrase meaning ‘to give life’. From that moment on, the company has proven itself a world-leader in providing high-quality patient care. Today, DaVita serves approximately 200,000 patients. 

I had the privilege to interview Martha Wofford and David Roer in the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Martha is the Group Vice President and Dr. Roer is the Vice President of Medical Affairs, at DaVita Integrated Care. 

Dr. Roer mentioned some really astounding statistics I’d like to share with you. Aside from the numbers we learned from CDC, he also mentioned that there are about 660,000 people who live with kidney failure and about a 100,000 patients who are awaiting a kidney transplant.

He also emphasized that kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

Dr. Roer shared a few more interesting facts and statistics about kidney disease, and you can listen to them in our podcast interview. 

DaVita’s Value Proposition

Martha highlighted three areas where DaVita adds value. 

  • First, it delivers high-quality kidney care across the country every day. 
  • Second, it improves the quality of life and reduces cost to the system. 
  • Third, it helps patients before their kidneys fail. 

DaVita works hard to help patients identify that they even have CKD so they can start managing their disease earlier. The company provides community education across the country and online, and it delivers disease management to help doctors and patients. It also leverages predictive analysis and continuum of kidney care to optimize the company’s ability to extend the best support to patients and physicians. 

Whether you’re a doctor, a hospital administrator, or a payer, DaVita can help your organization or company deliver exceptional care while reducing the cost. That’s a value-based system at the core. 


1 https://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/global-facts-about-kidney-disease

2 https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/2019-national-facts.html



Written By

Saul Marquez

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