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Zach Kribs

On Thursday, September 27, 2018, a broad coalition of advocates representing patients and physicians from across the kidney and transplant community will meet with their lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness of critical issues facing the kidney community as part of ASN’s fourth Kidney Community Advocacy Day (KCAD).

Recognizing the need to bring to lawmakers greater awareness of kidney diseases and the burden they place on over 40 million Americans, KCAD presents an opportunity for a community diverse in perspectives to speak in a unified voice. This year, participants will attend from 15 organizations representing patients, as well as

David White

On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a combined proposed rule for the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for performance year 2019. Led by its Quality Committee, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has been reviewing the proposed changes, meeting with peer societies and coalitions, and drafting comments and recommendations. Most readers will have heard about one particular aspect of the proposed changes: recommendations by CMS to simplify Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding documentation requirements with the stated goal of providing relief from regulatory burden for clinicians. CMS has

Zachary Kribs

In July 2018, the House Appropriations Committee approved the annual Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill (LHHS), passing it to the House floor for consideration.

The bill, and its Senate counterpart, contain multiple priorities of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), a direct result of the countless emails, meetings, and phone calls made by members to their legislators.

Chief among these priorities is a sizable increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Working with peer organizations, ASN and its members were able to build on the momentum of previous years and advocate for a consistent, sustained

David L. White

Every summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) propose rules that govern physician reimbursement, the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program, and the newer Quality Payment Program (QPP), which is entering its third year in calendar year 2019. This summer has been no exception, with some proposed changes that benignly refine programs around the edges, and others that mark significant changes in course.

In July 2018, CMS released the ESRD PPS and QIP proposed rules. In what is expected to be a permanent change, the proposed rule for the first time combines the QPP and the Physician Fee

The Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act (DPDA) has been the subject of considerable enthusiasm and controversy within the kidney and transplant communities since its introduction in September 2016. The most recent iteration of the legislation, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has garnered substantial support in both chambers, with 185 House cosponsors and 8 Senate cosponsors at press time. Yet the legislation remains a focal point of division within the broader kidney and transplant communities.

At the most basic level, DPDA proposes a Medicare demonstration project that would test a dialysis-focused integrated

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is reviewing a report and considering action to modify and expand requirements for federal advisory committees through the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2017, H.R. 70.

At any given time, ASN members serve on multiple technical expert panels (TEPs) providing professional guidance to policymakers in the federal government, particularly the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). TEPs and other federal advisory groups help inform public policy, and Congress has deemed it appropriate to require public transparency of advisory committee membership and activities.

However, TEPs are among the groups whose

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the “CMS Roadmap to Address the Opioid Epidemic” in June 2018 (1). CMS stated at the time that “although some progress has been made in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate the crisis is not slowing down” (2).

Highlights of the crisis are:

Opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016 or 116 people a day.

40% of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

11.5 million people misused

David White

When Kidney News went to print, the U.S. House of Representatives had passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. Passed with bipartisan support, H.R. 6 combines provisions from more than 50 bills approved individually by the House.

The bill is designed to help overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, bolstering prevention efforts, and trying to counter deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

A last-minute addition to the legislative package in the House would extend by three months the period

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched national enrollment for its All of Us Research Program. This historic project aims to collect data from more than 1 million volunteers to accelerate research and enable the delivery of precision medicine by considering factors such as individual lifestyles, environment, and biology.

Participants who volunteer for the program will be asked to contribute information about their medical history and lifestyle over time by completing health surveys, sharing electronic health records, and potentially submitting physical measurements and biosamples. Researchers will conduct studies using the data collected to identify patterns that may lead to

Zachary Kribs

Advocates from the American Association of Kidney Patients and the American Society of Nephrology gathered in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2018, for the 6th Annual Kidney Health Advocacy Day (KHAD) to meet with lawmakers, share their stories, and discuss the need for greater innovation for patients with kidney diseases.

The group of nearly 50 kidney patients and physicians met with more than 60 legislators and their staff. Highlighting the barriers to innovation in kidney care and the consequences of the lack of innovation, advocates urged Congress to support KidneyX, a new public-private partnership to accelerate innovation in the prevention,