When you are on dialysis, your protein and calorie needs are higher. Even if you follow your dialysis diet very carefully, you may still have a hard time getting vital nutrition through food and dietary supplements alone. You may also experience poor appetite, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea which can lead to low protein levels, malnutrition, and/or weight loss. As a result, you may have difficulty tending to your daily activities.

Dialysis patients have higher nutritional needs, especially when it comes to protein. As you know, some dialysis patients do not have a good appetite and it can be difficult to tolerate or afford oral nutritional supplements. IDPN/IPN can provide significant amounts of needed protein without having to drink or eat. Protein is essential for tissue repair and wound healing as well as protecting against infections and dialysis patients need approximately 50% more protein than the average healthy person.

What is IDPN?

Your physician and treatment team will recommend IDPN (Intradialytic Parenteral Nutrition) to provide you with additional nutrition during dialysis treatments. This therapy provides your body with needed protein while containing the minimal amount of dextrose (a type of carbohydrate). Some patients' therapy may also contain lipids (a type of fat) for additional calories. The goal of the therapy is to improve appetite, strength and energy. It is administered by your dialysis nurse who connects the solution to the venous chamber of the dialysis machine.

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What is IPN?

For patients on peritoneal dialysis, IntraPeritoneal Nutrition (IPN) is a nutrition therapy that provides your body with the nutrients you need to stay healthy. IPN contains a form of protein that is used more quickly by your body than protein found in the foods you eat. It also contains low dextrose (a type of carbohydrate). IPN is safe to be placed directly into the peritoneal cavity and is usually administered by the patient in their home.

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Your doctor and renal dietitian can help answer specific questions related to your therapy. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you get started.

Are there any side effects from IDPN therapy?

Pentec Health’s IDPN therapy is prepared safely and is individualized to meet your needs. You should not experience any side effects from the treatment. However, if you do experience any issues such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, your dietitian, nurse and/or doctor will determine the reason and treat it accordingly. Sometimes, these effects may be a result of other medications or treatments. You might notice that you feel better and have more energy in a few weeks.

How long will I need to be on IDPN/IPN Therapy?

You will receive IDPN/IPN therapy during each dialysis treatment. Your doctor and dietitian will monitor your progress closely through lab tests and other evaluations. When your protein level is back within normal limits, they will determine when the therapy can be discontinued. You might take a “holiday” from the therapy to see if you can maintain your nutrition on your own. Each patient responds differently to the therapy so the length of time will vary with each patient.

How much does IDPN/IPN therapy cost?

We understand you have questions about your financial obligation. Our experts are here to help you navigate the best payment options for your IDPN/IPN therapy.

How much will I personally have to pay for my IDPN Therapy?

Like each patient, every case is unique, and the average out-of-pocket amount varies based on: insurance benefits, what portion of your deductible has been met and your co-pay amounts. If you have active insurance coverage at the time of therapy, Pentec Health can provide you with an estimate of your financial responsibility based on your specific benefit levels. Please call 866.833.6070 and one of our Insurance Specialists will gladly assist you.

What are my payment options if I have a balance due?

If payment is required after your insurance company has determined their coverage, Pentec Health will work on your behalf to ensure that the insurance company has processed the claim at the highest benefit level to minimize any out-of-pocket expense. After a full review, an invoice will be issued for any difference in coverage. If you are interested in arranging an interest-free payment plan, please contact us and one of our Insurance Specialists can assist you.

What if I get a bill from Pentec Health for more than I expected?

Please contact us and one of our Insurance Specialists will work to resolve the discrepancy in an acceptable and timely manner. They can be reached at 866.833.6070.

My insurance company sent me something that looks like a bill for this therapy. Should I pay it?

Your insurance company may send you one or more Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements related to our therapy. This is not a bill from Pentec Health. Pentec Health can submit an appeal on your behalf during the claim review process and each appeal submitted will generate an EOB from your insurance company. You do not have any financial obligation for the service unless you receive an invoice from Pentec Health.

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The Pentec Health team and Insurance Specialists were very helpful in helping me understand what I will owe for the therapy and had a clear way to explain the payment options; they helped me through the entire process seamlessly.

J.L.