Companies in this industry provide outpatient kidney dialysis services. Major companies include US-based DaVita, Dialysis Clinic (DCI), and US Renal Care, along with 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. Small operators can compete successfully if they have centers in desirable locations or good relations with doctors who refer patients. The US industry is highly concentrated: the four largest companies account for about 85% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Advanced chronic kidney disease, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), involves irreversible loss of kidney function and requires regular dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant to sustain life. Scarcity of available donor kidneys limits the number of transplants, so most ESRD patients rely on dialysis treatments. Dialysis is not a cure but a blood-filtering process that prolongs life through the removal of toxic waste products and excess fluids from the body. ESRD patients must undergo dialysis for the rest of their lives.