This study analyses management and costs of dialysis in the Italian National Health Service (NHS). Information on efficacy and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) based on the existing literature also is presented. The clinical differences between the dialysis modalities seem to be related to their appropriateness to specific patient groups. Efficacy rates are similar and the only differences are in complications and HRQOL. Traditional haemodialysis (THD) can be done by Italian patients in dialysis centres or in hospital. High-flux haemodialysis (HFHD) is generally only done in hospital. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is usually done at home. The cost analysis was performed on a sample of Italian dialysis centres and hospitals, according to the full cost method. As expected, HFHD was more expensive than THD and PD, but no marked differences emerged among the different HFHD modalities. THD modalities in dialysis centres were less costly than in hospitals. Automated PD (APD) was much more expensive (almost twice) than continuous ambulatory PD (CAPD), the cheapest method in absolute terms. This study confirms that dialysis is costly and that it is very difficult to assess the cost-effectiveness of the different approaches. Although this study has limits, it should provide sufficient analytical information to local healthcare managers for more rational allocation of financial resources to dialysis services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management