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In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Innovation Center (CMMI) finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. This mandatory payment model will test changes to care for Americans with kidney disease within a 30%, randomized set of Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure.

The stated goals are increasing patient choice, increasing utilization of home dialysis, and providing greater access to transplantation, options for which the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has long advocated.

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) commends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Innovation Center (CMMI) for finalizing the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model today. This model will herald positive changes to care for the more than 37 million Americans with kidney diseases, including more patient choice, increased utilization of home dialysis, and greater access to transplantation, options for which ASN has long advocated.

ASN Staff

Consumer Reports (CR) recently published an article, “Medical Algorithms Have a Race Problem,” which recognized the potential impact ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) could have through their joint task force to reassess the inclusion of race in diagnosing kidney disease.  

Ryan Murray

Center for Scientific Review’s Elimination of Study Section Perilous to Kidney Community

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) oversees peer review of NIH grant applications. CSR recently announced a change to study sections that will have a significant effect on the kidney community.

NIH grant applications are reviewed by content experts in study sections relevant to the application. CSR reduced the number of study sections for Gastrointestinal, Renal, Endocrine Systems  by one section. Eliminating a kidney study section results in grants being assigned to broader sections that focus on issues outside of nephrology as well. This can negatively impact the quality of the review and reduce the probability of a grant being funded.

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.”

Kurtis Pivert MS

Kidney News Online

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.

ASN Staff

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. 

ASN Staff

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.