Three companies combine in kidney care merger

Dialysis giant Fresenius Medical Care is creating a new $2.4B company by combining its US value-based care division, Fresenius Health Partners, with nephrologist network InterWell Health, and digital-first kidney care startup Cricket Health. Cricket Health CEO Robert Sepucha is set to lead the new company, which will be named InterWell Health, assuming the deal closes in the second half of 2022 as expected. 

The Gist: This move will enable Fresenius to move further up the renal care delivery chain, managing patients with earlier stage chronic kidney disease before they need dialysis. Fresenius says the new company will more than triple its total addressable market in the US, from $50B to around $170B. 

Seeing an opportunity to disrupt the dialysis market, which has been dominated by for-profit giants Fresenius and DaVita, significant capital has been flowing to numerous disruptors in the kidney care space who aim to bring care closer to consumers. Medicare, which spends nearly $115B annually on chronic kidney disease, is testing new payment models aimed at delaying the need for dialysis, as well as moving care into patients’ homes. 

But whether Fresenius’s latest moves will make a significant difference in lowering the cost of kidney care remains to be seen.

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