Companies in this industry provide outpatient kidney dialysis services. Major companies include US-based DaVita and Dialysis Clinic, Inc., and Germany-based Fresenius Medical Care and B. Braun Melsungen.
Demand depends on the number of people who suffer from kidney disease. The profitability of individual companies is linked to efficient operations and good marketing. Large companies have economies of scale in administrative costs, which has driven consolidation in the industry. The US industry is highly concentrated: the four largest companies operate more than 90 percent of all centers. Small operators can compete successfully if they have centers in desirable locations or good relations with doctors who refer patients.
The industry provides a treatment called hemodialysis for patients who suffer from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Hemodialysis, the most common form of treatment for ESRD, is not a cure but a blood-filtering process that prolongs life. ESRD patients must undergo dialysis for the rest of their lives. Without dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant, ESRD is a terminal disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the top two causes of kidney disease; diabetes alone accounts for over a third of all new cases.Buy Now