Transplantation & Immunology

Top ASN Priority Moves Forward: Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Legislation Introduced in Senate

On February 27, Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation to extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients.  A top priority for ASN, the common-sense legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive medications for kidney transplant patients beyond the current 36-month limitation, ensuring that kidney transplant patients do not face losing their transplant due to an inability to afford their medications.

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.

Living Donor Kidney Transplant Recipient Plays in First NHL Game as the Emergency Backup Goalie

In a story that has transcended the kidney community and touched the mainstream, David Ayres, a 42-year-old kidney transplant recipient and director of operations at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, a local arena in Toronto, entered an NHL game on February 22nd between the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto, Canada. When two of the Hurricanes goalies left the game with injuries, Ayres, the emergency backup goalie – a position that is almost never used – was called in to play the remaining 28 minutes of his first ever NHL game.

Baylor College of Medicine publicly endorses Medicare’s proposed rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage

This week, the Baylor College of Medicine became the first academic center and care provider to publicly announce its support for the changes included in Medicare’s proposed rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organizations – joining the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in its support of the proposed rule.

ASN Proposes Additional Living Donor Support

The Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (Section 8) directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to propose a regulation to remove financial barriers to living organ donation essentially:

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.

Donated Organs, Especially Kidneys, are at Risk Due to Current Transportation Structure

An investigation from Kaiser Health News and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting found that “between 2014 and 2019, nearly 170 organs could not be transplanted and almost 370 endured ‘near misses,’ with delays of two hours or more,” due to transportation problems.  Nearly 113,000 people in the United States waiting for transplants, yet many organs, especially kidneys, are needlessly wasted because they do not reach their destination on time due to transportation issues

Congressional Briefing Calls for Support of KidneyX

On Thursday, Feb. 6, a panel of leaders in the kidney innovation community highlighted accomplishments made by KidneyX at a congressional briefing in Washington, DC, and called on Congress to support KidneyX.

The briefing, titled KidneyX: Accelerating the Future of Kidney Care, featured a panel of speakers representing the Department of Health and Human Services, the KidneyX steering committee, venture capital, kidney patients, and KidneyX prize winners.

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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