In August of 2020, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) formed a joint task force to focus on the use of race to estimate GFR. For more information, please read the joint NKF-ASN statement on “Establishing a Task Force to Reassess the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases.”
Applications for nephrology fellowships in the first month of a pandemic-shortened application cycle were up according to Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) data showing nephrology application through August 17, 2020, rose 49% compared with July 2019.
Partial August data hinted at potential renewed interest among US allopathic residents, with candidates totals equal to those seen across the entire 2019 cycle (79 US MDs). International medical graduate resident numbers were flat compared to the same period (214 candidates), but osteopathic candidates declined 15%. Although cumulative candidate totals through the first two weeks of August were flat, cumulative applications are still up 30% compared to 2019.
Ensure kidney patients get the vascular access surgeries they need, and don’t delay kidney transplant surgeries.
These two directives formed the centerpiece of recent guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Key Components for Continued COVID-19 Management for Dialysis Facilities,” released Monday, August 17, 2020.
Terminology commonly used by physicians to describe kidney health may be distressing or too difficult to understand for patients with kidney diseases, according to a recent study published in CJASN. The study, “Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Terms Used to Describe Kidney Health,” included 54 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 13 caregivers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Participants discussed various terms for kidney health, including kidney, renal, CKD, end-stage kidney disease, kidney failure, and descriptors for kidney function.
Changes ASN has long pushed for will be implemented.
Nephrologists will receive a boost in payments – especially in the rate for reimbursement for home dialysis – made to them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ASN is proud to have played a significant role by pushing for this change that will begin January 1, 2021. This move is long overdue and reflects the priority placed on kidney care by the Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health of July 2019 and its focus on increasing rates of home dialysis.
Anupam Agarwal MD FASN President of the American Society of Nephrology
The American Society of Nephrology’s (ASN) 21,000 members, who care for 37,000,000 Americans with kidney diseases, applaud the Trump Administration for issuing the Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access on August 3, 2020. The Executive Order (EO) aims to increase access to better care for the approximately 57,000,000 Americans living in rural communities. The millions of Americans battling kidney diseases in rural communities are all too familiar with reduced access to quality care and insufficient bandwidth to support robust telehealth.
Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, ASN President highlights the important role that international medical graduates (IMGs) play in the nation’s health care workforce and fight against COVID-19 in a recent opinion piece for The Hill. Reflecting on his personal journey from growing up in India to now serving as executive vice dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and director of the Division of Nephrology, Dr. Agarwal calls for Congress to pass the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act and make it easier for IMGs to practice in the United States. This legislation will bolster the nation’s health workforce in its fight against COVID-19 by removing barriers that prevent immigrant doctors and nurses from securing the stable immigration status.
There is a growing evidence that COVID-19 negatively affects the kidneys and that the pandemic places an additional burden on people living with kidney diseases. The American Society and Nephrology (ASN) led the kidney community in urging Congressional appropriators to support $100 million in emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
On July 27, 2020, the governing bodies of Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Accreditation Program (ANCC) granted the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) with Joint Accreditation for 6 years.
What does this mean for ASN and the community it serves? ASN is now simultaneously accredited to provide medical, nursing and pharmacy continuing education activities through a single process, without needing to obtain separate accreditations.
People who succeed in nephrology exemplify the best in all of us. They relish the intellectual rigor required to advance such a complex area of study and practice; they approach treatment and research challenges with creativity and tenacity, and work daily to enhance quality of life for millions. Most important, kidney professionals imbue their work with compassion and respect for the people whose lives they improve through research, education, and clinical excellence.