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Rep. Porter Report Details Corruption, Conflicts of Interest in Dialysis Industry

Congresswoman urges watchdog to investigate relationship between supposed patient advocacy group and leading dialysis providers

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today released a report detailing how cozy relationships between a patient advocacy group and leading dialysis providers are putting patients at risk. The report, “Dying on Dialysis: Inside an Industry Putting Profits Over Patients,” describes how the American Kidney Fund receives a large majority of its funding from leading dialysis providers DaVita and Fresenius and how social workers associated with the organizations steer patients towards more expensive insurance options that line the pockets of dialysis providers.

“Patients—not profits—ought to be the top priority for health care providers,” said Porter. “There’s ample evidence that the leading dialysis providers are colluding with patient advocacy groups to juice their profits at the expense of patients. Our office’s report makes clear the need for an immediate and thorough investigation.”

Porter’s report details a potential conflict of interest between the American Kidney Fund and America’s largest dialysis providers, DaVita and Fresenius. In short, DaVita and Fresenius donate large sums of money to the American Kidney Fund, which are used to pay insurance premiums. Social workers in DaVita and Fresenius owned and operated clinics then steer patients towards private insurance plans, which reimburse dialysis providers at significantly higher rates than Medicare and Medicaid. Private plans are frequently not in the best interest of patients.

Congresswoman Porter has fought to bring accountability and change to the dialysis industry throughout her time in Congress. Within months of taking office, she called for robust oversight of the American Kidney Fund and its benefactors. She repeatedly urged the Trump Administration to investigate the dialysis industry. Porter also called out the American Kidney Fund directly for abandoning California dialysis patients.