Kidney failure can be a terrible disease, and while dialysis can keep those patients alive, it is difficult therapy. Patients have to go to a center for several hours a day several times a week. There are refrigerator size machines for home use but they require plumbing and they're not portable.
Now, the FDA has approved a new, small home dialysis unit that promises to make life easier for those folks. It requires just 2 hours a day for 6 days a week. But patients can easily travel since the unit is portable.
Even though medicare generally pays for kidney dialysis in this country, getting the federal program to pay for this home unit is a tough sell. Patients must show that they have unstable blood pressure, congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease on conventional dialysis before medicare will pay for it.