As employee benefits professionals, we recognize the immense impact that chronic conditions can have on both workforce health and organizational costs. One such condition that often flies under the radar is chronic kidney disease (CKD) - a "silent epidemic" affecting millions of Americans

In a recent episode of the Healthcare on the Rocks podcast, we sat down with Scott Vold, Chief Commercial Officer at Renalogic, to shed light on this critical issue and explore solutions for employers.

Below, you’ll find highlights and takeaways from their conversation. Ready to listen to the full episode? Click here.

The Staggering Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease

According to Vold, chronic kidney disease is a public health crisis that deserves far more attention. "About one in seven adult Americans, or 37 million people, have chronic kidney disease in this country. And that's wild in and of itself. What's even more wild and scary is that 90 percent of those people have no idea they have chronic kidney disease."

This lack of awareness is particularly concerning, as CKD is the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States and is projected to rise to the fifth-leading cause by 2040. The underlying drivers of this condition - diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity - are all too common in today's workforce.

The Dialysis Dilemma: A Broken Market

As CKD progresses, many patients eventually require dialysis, a life-saving but grueling treatment process. Vold explained the complexities of the dialysis market, which has evolved into a duopoly controlled by two major players – DaVita and Fresenius.

"This is a wild industry for life-saving treatment. Where it used to be market-driven, and people had a choice, health plans had bargaining power, and networks had bargaining power. That is not the case today. Today, health plans, especially self-funded health plans, are really burdened by excessive dialysis prices."

In fact, Vold noted that self-funded plans often pay 700% of the Medicare rate for dialysis services, a staggering markup that significantly impacts employer healthcare costs.

Empowering Employers: Strategies to Address Chronic Kidney Disease

So, what can employers do to mitigate the impact of chronic kidney disease? Vold outlined several key strategies:

  • Leverage data and analytics: Utilize platforms like Springbuk, and the Springbuk Activate partners like Renalogic, to identify members at risk of CKD and end-stage renal disease, enabling early intervention and cost containment
  • Reject complacency: Don't settle for network discounts negotiated by insurance carriers; explore specialized solutions like Renalogic's dialysis cost management program, which can save $100,000 to $300,000 per dialysis member per year
  • Partner with experts: Navigate the complex regulatory landscape of CKD management with the guidance of specialized providers who understand the intricacies of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and ERISA
  • Prioritize proactive care management: Invest in programs that can help prevent progression to end-stage renal disease and avoid costly emergent dialysis starts

By taking a proactive, data-driven approach to managing chronic kidney disease, employers can improve the health and quality of life for their workforce while significantly reducing the financial burden of this often-overlooked condition.

Together, we can tackle the silent epidemic of chronic kidney disease and create a healthier, more productive workforce. To learn more about Renalogic's solutions and how they integrate with the Springbuk Activate Marketplace, visit or

Ready to listen to the full episode? Click here.