Basic Science

ASN Recommends Temporary Policy Changes to Trump Administration Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The approximately 500,000 Americans on dialysis and 222,000 Americans with kidney transplants are among the most vulnerable to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. ASN is coordinating with the federal government to address the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the highest quality of care for those affected by kidney disease.

In a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azar, ASN suggests multiple temporary policy changes in the context of this pandemic that affect those living with kidney disease including:

Teleheath Waiver: Due to COVID-19, Medicare opening telehealth to non-public facing applications

In the wake of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, the Medicare program is expanding telehealth coverage enabling clinicians to provide a wider range of health care services to their patients without those patients having to travel to a health care facility thereby reducing exposure. The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) strongly supports this bold move. Retroactive to March 6, 2020, Medicare, under waiver authority, will temporarily allow and pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.

Summary of ASN/NephJC Twitter Chat: COVID-19 and the Kidneys

Gretchen Brandt MD, FASN - Washington, DC
 

American Board of Internal Medicine Update on COVID-19, Spring Assessments Cancelled

ABIM announced that they have cancelled all spring assessments. No physician will have their certification status negatively impacted due to this decision. Click here for ABIM updates on COVID-19. Please contact ABIM directly with questions.

New CPT Code Available for Reporting and Tracking COVID-19

A new CPT® code, 87635, has been released for immediate use for novel coronavirus testing offered by hospitals, health systems, and laboratories in the United States.  The code became effective Friday, March 13, 2020, for reporting of novel coronavirus tests across the entire healthcare system. Because of the immediate release and use of the code, clinicians will need to manually upload this code descriptor into their electronic health record (EHR) system.

Coronavirus and ACE2: What is the evidence regarding ACEis and ARBs?

As concerned physicians and scientists working in this area, we summarize the evidence on the NephJC website, The Coronavirus Conundrum: ACE2 and Hypertension Edition, (which will be updated in real time) and call for greater understanding and systematic data gathering, rather than hasty decision-making based upon incomplete or inaccurate information, or unjustified extrapolations.

Rare Disease Day 2020: A Unique Moment for Drug Development for Rare Kidney Diseases

Rare Disease Day on Saturday, February 29, is intended to raise awareness of the thousands of rare diseases and the millions of people who live with them around the world. There are more than 100 rare kidney diseases, most of them without US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapies. Because of the lack of innovation in novel therapies to treat rare kidney diseases, many people who live with them face the prospect of progressing to kidney failure and enduring dialysis or waiting for a kidney transplant.

New FY 2020 NIDDK Award Funding Policy Includes Improved Paylines

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) posted its award funding policy for fiscal year (FY) 2020, including released paylines that are better than previous years.

NIDDK is establishing a nominal payline for new (Type 1) and renewal or competing continuation (Type 2) R01 applications of 16th percentile in FY 2020, which is higher than the 13th percentile in FY 2019.

2019 in Review: Top 10 Kidney News Articles

2019 brought another successful year of nephrology coverage by ASN Kidney News and Kidney News Online. The two publications covered a broad spectrum of topics within nephrology and continued their strong record of informing the nephrology community.

New CDC-NTDS Online Learning Module: Managing Infection in an Outpatient Dialysis Facility

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS) have partnered to develop a fresh, new online learning module, Managing Infection in an Outpatient Dialysis Facility.

The module is available to all members of the nephrology care team, including physicians, nurses, fellows, technicians, patients, and kidney educators, via an open-access platform.

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