New York, NY, July 10, 2019—Today President Trump announced a bold vision for transforming kidney care for the estimated 37 million Americans affected by kidney disease. During a speech at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center attended by National Kidney Foundation (NKF) volunteers, patients, care partners and leadership, government officials and other kidney organizations, the President laid out the Administration’s detailed plan to help increase living organ donation, deceased organ donation, increase earlier detection and earlier care of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and increase incentives to develop new and cutting-edge treatments for kidney disease, including advancing home dialysis.
“The Administration’s commitment to charting a new course for kidney health will help revolutionize transplantation and dialysis and advance new innovations, therapies and treatments which patients everywhere have been waiting on for far too long,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “Kidney care is, for the first time in decades, experiencing a renaissance that can transform the lives of millions of Americans while also saving taxpayers billions of dollars. NKF is grateful to the Administration and our bi- partisan Congressional champions who are elevating kidney disease as a national priority.”
The Administration’s plan includes five alternative payment models for coverage of kidney disease treatments, including incentives for transplantation and slowing progression of kidney disease, home dialysis and earlier care of kidney patients; expanded financial assistance to living donors to cover lost wages and dependent care during donation and recovery; new measures for organ procurement organizations (OPOs) to help increase transplantation; efforts to reduce the number of kidneys discarded, efforts to advance the development of an artificial kidney, and a public awareness campaign to reach the at-risk population and also help increase living organ donation.
“For patients suffering from kidney disease, the incentives in the healthcare system today are backwards because they tend to promote in-center dialysis instead of home dialysis and transplants. The President’s executive order is going to help create a better system for patients,” says NKFF board member and Healthmap Solutions President and COO, Andrew Wall.
“In concert with the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, Healthmap has seen first-hand the impact on patients and on stakeholders across the healthcare system. We’ve been intricately involved through our clinical experts, kidney health-focused data and artificial intelligence, and value-based programs driving early detection, care coordination, effective transplants and home- based dialysis,”
Andrew concludes, “We know that early detection is essential and lacking for patients in today’s healthcare system. We know that transplants are better in the long run than protracted dialysis. We know dialysis at home is so much better than in-center procedures when appropriate. That’s why we know that the President’s executive order is good for those suffering from kidney disease across the country,”
In January, 2019, NKF released a comprehensive path forward for increasing kidney transplantation which included many of the key aspects the President announced in his speech today. In the plan, NKF outlined necessary steps to expand financial assistance offered to living organ donors to cover all expenses related to organ donation, align Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement to healthcare providers to ensure earlier treatment and care for CKD patients, implement a demonstration program at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that would take a patient-centered approach to testing changes in payment and care delivery, permanently extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients, reduce the discard of kidneys that could be used to provide better outcomes and quality of life for patients, and make key improvements to organ procurement organization (OPO) procedures,”
"The time is now for the entire kidney community to embrace the momentum of today’s announcement, work with the Administration and Congress to advance policies which can significantly benefit kidney patients and their families, and together change the current trajectory of kidney care,” said Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, President of National Kidney Foundation.
About Kidney Disease
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD) – and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for CKD. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a family history of kidney failure, and being age 60 or older. People of African American, Hispanic, Native-American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are about 3 times more likely than Whites to develop end-stage kidney disease (ESKD or kidney failure). Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics are almost 1.3 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of kidney failure.
More than 726,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. More than 500,000 of these patients receive dialysis at least three times per week to replace kidney function. Nearly 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant right now. Depending on where a patient lives, the average wait time for a kidney transplant can be upwards of three to seven years. Living organ donation not only saves lives, it saves money. Each year, Medicare spends approximately $89,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $35,000, for a transplant patient.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.
Healthmap is a kidney health management company serving health plans, including Medicare Advantage and employer-sponsored plans, as well as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and provider groups seeking value-based solutions that improve the clinical and financial performance for high-risk, high-cost kidney patient populations. The company has a rich history forged in data and analytics, having begun as a healthcare data clearing house, adding robust healthcare analytics expertise, and today Healthmap uses that experience to power complex kidney health management programs with its clinical experts. The company also provides similar integrated programs across the full range of specialty health population management.