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Today the US Senate passed the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act, extending Medicare coverage of life saving immunosuppressive medications for the life of the kidney transplant. This welcome advance will take effect in 2023.

This tremendous advance results from countless hours of advocacy by ASN members and stakeholders throughout the kidney and transplant communities

David White

On Thursday, December 17 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm EST the American Society of Nephrology will host a webinar reviewing key components of the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model (going into effect January 1, 2021).

This webinar will be an opportunity for ASN members to learn important details about the federal government’s mandatory model to use payment policy to increase kidney patient choice of home dialysis and kidney transplantation.  ETC will include 30% of Medicare ESRD beneficiaries, nephrologists, and dialysis facilities randomized from hospital referral regions (HRRs) across the country. 

Dialysis patients incur a greater burden of illness compared to the general population, and those dependent on maintenance dialysis are extremely vulnerable to the effects of infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, observe the authors of a recent article, “Prioritizing COVID-19 Vaccination in Dialysis.”

To read the article, click here .    

ASN Staff

ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) would like to announce open forums for anyone interested in providing input into the final report of the NKF-ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases. 

In January 2021, the task force will host three live forums in which individuals can testify (or provide written comments) on relevant topics, including but not limited to, health care disparities for Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander people; kidney function measurement; patient safety/standardization and new or innovative approaches to kidney function measurement; and measurement or reporting that does not include race. 

Bipartisan bill has been ASN's top legislative priority since 2009

Congress is passing the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act as part of priority year-end package.

This legislation extends Medicare coverage of live-saving immunosuppressive medications for kidney transplant patients for the life of the kidney transplant. Currently coverage is restricted to 36 months post transplant: patients who cannot obtain private coverage and are unable to afford the medications lose their transplanted kidney and return to dialysis. About 375 people annually are estimated to lose their kidney transplant because they cannot afford immunosuppressives.

David White

 

Nephrologists will receive boosts in payments – especially in the rate for reimbursement for home dialysis – starting on January 1, 2021, according a final rule recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The increases to nephrologists’ reimbursements were part of a multi-year push by ASN to increase the values incorporated in those reimbursement calculations. 

David White

 

Participating clinicians should begin the application process now.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it is accepting the impact of COVID-19 as a condition for applying for an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances exemption in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 

For the 2020 performance year (PY), Medicare will be using its Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency. To provide additional support to clinicians, the agency is extending the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances application deadline for PY 2020 to Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET.

Join ASN for New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes, a videoconference scheduled for Thursday, December 10, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM EST. 

International clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and discuss the most recent clinical trials and promising therapies, including the groundbreaking use of SGLT2 inhibitors to reduce morbidity and mortality.  These are among the first new therapies demonstrated to help prevent the development of heart disease and reduce progression of kidney disease in people with T2DM.

Melanie Robey

Kidney research and treatment is undergoing tremendous, positive change. Part of that change is propelled by the cutting-edge work funded by KidneyCure. Over 24 years, ASN, and now KidneyCure, has awarded over $53 million to advance kidney health by funding studies of excellence. The researchers performing this work have propelled a sea change of advances that are helping create a world without kidney diseases.

David White

Final rule applies new standards to organ procurement in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today took action to increase donation rates and organ transplantation rates by applying new standards of accountability and transparency to the nation’s Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs).  HHS finalized the Organ Procurement Organizations Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organization rule that was proposed earlier this year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).