Kenar D. Jhaveri, MD, FASN, Professor of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Associate Chief of the Division of Kidney Disease and Hypertension at Northwell Health, NY, has been selected as Editor-in-Chief of ASN Kidney News.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) sent policy recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that urged the Administration to consider the unique needs of the 37 million Americans affected by kidney disease and the physicians who care for them as the country reopens.
Responding to requests from members and building on long-time policy priorities, ASN recently made significant progress in addressing concerns about federal policy related to graduates of international medical schools. These efforts, reported on April 10, are designed to allow international medical graduates (IMGs) more flexibility to work in health care settings with the greatest need during this public health emergency (PHE) and not solely on the site associated with their H-1B and J-1 visas, and provide expedited access to permanent residence status.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a uniquely significant impact on the kidney community: kidney patients are at elevated risk, kidney failure is one of the consequences many people who contract COVID-19 face, and the pandemic has accelerated several trends in kidney medicine, including the prioritization of telehealth and more home-based care. Recognizing these realities, American Society of Nephrology (ASN), and 27 other organizations in the kidney community urged Congressional appropriators to provide emergency supplemental funding for NIDDK and KidneyX to enable a robust and appropriate response.
Those who work in nephrology, or receive kidney care, understand that excellence of care depends directly upon the professionals who chose to become nephrology nurses.
The stories below reflect the tremendous scope and enduring challenges of this calling. These stories range from pediatrics to end-of-life care, chronic to acute care, dialysis to transplant to patient and professional education.
Clinical trials often exclude people with kidney diseases. This means that 37 million people in the United States are rarely represented in the kind of research that advances change in treatment and care. The challenges that result from such exclusion are highlighted by the current COVID-19 crisis.
On Thursday, May 14, 2020, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EDT, ASN, ANNA, and NANT will present a webinar to examine the mental health challenges of kidney professionals practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic and explore resources and techniques that will support their mental health. Presenters will:
The Coronavirus – 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unmasking the shortcomings of in-center hemodialysis for people with kidney failure. Individuals with kidney failure who rely on in-center dialysis do not have the luxury of social distancing during a pandemic. In-center dialysis exposes people with kidney failure and healthcare workers to potential infection. Additionally, in-center hemodialysis patients are exposed to other discomforts and inconveniences associated with strict infection control and isolation policies necessitated by emergencies like pandemics.
After a concerted advocacy effort by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and a large coalition of medical societies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it is increasing payments for audio-only telephone visits to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits. This would increase payments for these services from a range of about $14-$41 to about $46-$110. CMS made the payments retroactive to March 1, 2020. CMS previously announced that Medicare would pay for certain services conducted by audio-only telephone between patients and clinicians when video capabilities were not available. ASN helped coordinate efforts to request this move through the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and joined the request of the Council of Subspecialty Societies.
COVID-19 has necessitated a transformation in how medical education is delivered to trainees, presenting new opportunities, but also concerns for the adequacy of ongoing instruction. Education during the pandemic must “balance education with safety,” state Sam Kant, MD, and C. John Sperati, MD, in a Perspective to appear in the June Kidney News. Here, we look at four areas that require the attention of educators and fellows in caring for patients with COVID-19. Sam Kant, MD, is a nephrology fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital. C. John Sperati, MD, MHS, is associate professor of medicine and fellowship program director at Johns Hopkins Hospital.