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ASN Staff

With the current spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and due to the American Society of Nephrology’s international outreach representing 21,000 members in 131 countries, the organization has responded to the developments in the following ways in order to share important information with the nephrology community:

In the future, ASN will continue to provide this level of coordination and education for the kidney community, including the possibility of more COVID-19 themed webinars and educational postings on the ASN website.

David White

Continuing in its bold move up the ladder of electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) jointly finalized two rules on March 9, 2020 that were originally proposed February 11, 2019. The rules are designed both to allow patients access to their own records and data via smartphone apps and to provide strong deterrents to those who would block data.

ASN Staff

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. He went on to save 8 of 10 shots and lead the Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory. Even fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs cheered him on, as he is a native of nearby Whitby, Ontario.

David White

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 expressed its support in a separate comment letter and made recommendations for improvement. (ASN’s comments and recommendations will be covered in Kidney News’ March edition.)

ASN Staff

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.

Bonnie Freshly

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.

Zachary Kribs

On Thursday, January 23 ASN Councilor Crystal Gadegbeku, MD, FASN, along with 4 co-authors representing leading voices in organ and transplant policy, proposed a suite of improvements to the United States’ organ procurement and donation system at the launch of the highly-anticipated Day One Project.

Joined by former Obama and Trump administration staff (including ASN President’s Medal recipient Abe Sutton ) as well as the Executive Director of the Global Liver Institute and a patient advocate, Dr. Gadegbeku highlighted four ASN goals that should be prioritized:

ASN Staff

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took bold steps today, December 17, in two proposed rules to increase the availability of organs for the 113,000 Americans waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant – 20 of whom die each day – and to strengthen support for Americans who choose to be living donors.  Both proposed rules advance policy changes the American Society of Nephrology has long been advocating for and is strongly supportive of.

ASN Staff

In an opinion piece published this week in USAToday.com, contributors Andy Slavitt and Adam Brandon argue that many patients waiting for organ transplants pass away waiting, not due to lack of donors, but because of a “government-run monopoly”. They are referring to organ procurement organizations (OPOs), which are regional organizations in the US “charged with showing up at the hospital and working with the surviving family to coordinate a potential donation”. Research has found that OPOs are inefficient causing “28,000 organs to go uncovered from potential donors each year” in the US.

Karen Blum

WASHINGTON, DC – The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is higher in the United States than in Europe, partly because the incidence of risk factors like diabetes and obesity is higher in America than in most European countries, according to a Kidney Week 2019 presentation.

In contrast, blood pressure levels are lower in the U.S. than in Europe, said Kitty J. Jager MD, PhD, a professor of medical informatics and kidney epidemiology at Amsterdam University Medical Center in The Netherlands, during a talk on “CKD in the United States and Europe: Juxtaposing the Epidemiology and Evolution.”