ASN Applauds release of Advancing American Kidney Health initiative

Policy Package a “Game Changer”

Newswise — Washington, DC (July 10, 2019) — President Donald J. Trump and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, II, today unveiled the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative.  Before an audience of more than 500 patients with kidney diseases, nephrologists, and other kidney community advocates, President Trump signed an Executive Order launching the initiative.

According to the White House statement accompanying the announcement “the initiative seeks to:

    • Prevent kidney failure through better diagnosis, treatment, and preventative care.
    • Increase affordable alternative treatment options, educate patients on treatment alternatives, and encourage the development of artificial kidneys.
    • Increase access to kidney transplants by modernizing the transplant system and updating counterproductive regulations.”

“For patients with kidney diseases across America, today’s executive order represented a game changer.  For the president and the entire federal government to show this kind of interest in people with kidney diseases – particularly kidney failure – is completely unprecedented.  It’s a game changer,” said American Society of Nephrology (ASN) President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN. 

With 37,000,000 Americans affected by kidney disease and 720,000 of those with kidney failure, the need could not be greater for patients, families, and caregivers.  Currently, Medicare spends $35 billion on kidney failure and $114 billion annually on all kidney diseases—not including VA, Indian Health Services, and private insurers.

The Executive Order directs Medicare to develop and test payment models, also unveiled today, to encourage preventive kidney care and increase use of home dialysis and kidney transplantation. The president also directed his administration to develop a process to deliver an artificial kidney to patients and increase the efficiency of the organ transplant system. In a statement released by HHS, the administration outlined three goals in this area:

  • Reducing the number of Americans developing kidney failure by 25% by 2030.
  • Ensuring 80% of new kidney failure patients in 2025 either are receiving dialysis at home or are receiving a transplant.
  • Doubling the number of kidneys available for transplant by 2030.

As for payment models, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Centers announced the creation of the Kidney Care First (KCF) and Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) Graduated, Professional, and Global Models that will build upon the existing Comprehensive End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Care (CEC) Model structure.

Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit or contact the society at 202-640-4660.


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