Congress, the administration, and the kidney community could dramatically transform kidney care
July 29, 2019
Americans with kidney disease are living longer, healthier lives thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the entire kidney community. Over the last decade, we have been proud to work together to improve quality, access, and choice for individuals suffering from kidney disease and kidney failure. From increasing the patient survival rate in the first year following kidney failure after transitioning onto dialysis care by 25 percent to improving care so that an additional 135,000 End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients stayed out of the hospital, our community has made significant strides.
Yet despite the gains, much more must be done to address America’s kidney disease epidemic, which affects more than 30 million Americans, including more than 700,000 Americans who suffer from ESRD, an irreversible condition that requires patients to undergo dialysis or receive a kidney transplant in order to live. With kidney disease ranked as the ninth most common cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our community’s continuous efforts to save lives, improve care, and build impactful public-private partnerships is critical. But to aggressively tackle this disease epidemic, we need bold, transformational policies to truly stem the tide.
That is why we welcome President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to increase focus and investment on the kidney disease epidemic nationwide. Specifically, the executive order sets ambitious goals to further lower the mortality rate for patients, prevent at-risk patients from developing ESRD, improve patients’ quality of life and choices in care, and expand access to lifesaving transplants. To achieve these aims, the administration will launch a multifaceted approach that offers opportunities for the entire kidney care community to collaborate, including: debuting a new public awareness campaign to educate Americans about chronic kidney disease, reform the organ procurement and management system, examine ESRD payment policies, and expand evidence-based approaches to prevent kidney disease.