Shares of dialysis providers DaVita Healthcare (NYSE:DVA) and Fresenius (NYSE:FMS) took a hit today after a report surfaced that the Trump administration is readying an overhaul of the kidney treatment market.
The president plans to issue an executive order tomorrow that would seek to incentivize kidney transplants and home hemodialysis in a bid to lower the federal government’s annual $100 billion kidney care tab, Politico reported, citing “two individuals with knowledge of the announcement.”
The strategy involves new payment models from the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. designed to move patients out of brick-and-mortar dialysis clinics and into their own homes for treatment, according to “four individuals familiar with the plan” quoted by the website. HHS also plans to increase prevention and screening for kidney disease.
HHS said it couldn’t comment on potential rulemaking. The White House did not respond to requests for comment, Politico reported.
The news sent shares of DaVita and Fresenius, which dominate the hemodialysis clinic market, down significantly today. DVA shares were off -7.4% to $51.40; FMS shares slid -5.5% to $37.28, both in early afternoon trading.
“Two companies effectively control the market and neither currently are financially incentivized to change behavior,” Raymond James analyst and former HHS official Chris Meekins told Politico. “The administration needs to put forward enough carrots to encourage new market entrants and enough sticks to force the current players to alter behavior if real change is to occur.”
Meekins said the president could announce a goal of 80% of kidney patients either receiving a kidney transplant or using home dialysis by 2025, Bloomberg reported.