This market size represents the number of tax dollars spent to care for those on dialysis every year in the United States. In October 1972, Congress made revisions to the Social Security Act so that anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income, would have comprehensive coverage under Medicare.
Initially, before guaranteed payments from Medicare, hospitals provided most of the care on a nonprofit basis, albeit on a limited basis. In 2010, 80 percent of the clinics offering dialysis were for-profit, with two-thirds of those operated by two chains: DaVita Incorporated (based in Colorado) and Fresenius Medical Care North America (a subsidiary of a German company that makes dialysis machines and supplies). Together these two companies make $2 billion in operating profits per year. More than 100,000 people start dialysis each year in the United States. In 2010, there were nearly 400,000 patients receiving dialysis.
Geographic reference: United States
Market size: $20 billion
Source: Robin Fields, “God Help You. You’re On Dialysis,” The Atlantic, December 2010, pp. 82-92 and available online