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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has asked ASN to share with its members that the ESRD Quality Reporting System (EQRS) has been suspended due to data submitting issues. 

Users are asked not to submit additional data at this time CMS writes “We are committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our data, and are working to rapidly resolve these issues.”

Organ Procurement Organizations Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organizations will take effect March 30, 2021

Last November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acted, as advocated for by ASN, to increase organ donation rates and transplantation rates, applying new standards of accountability and transparency to the nation’s Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs).  HHS did this by finalizing  a rule that imposes new transparency requirements for the nation’s 58 OPOs to receive payment from Medicare and Medicaid. Approximately 113,000 Americans are on transplant waiting lists.

ASN is now accepting nominations for its Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Brian Hess, a lifelong kidney advocate, passed away on December 3, 2020.

Despite being diagnosed with kidney disease at a young age and undergoing dialysis for the majority of his life, Brian refused to let kidney disease slow him down. Brian graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma while maintaining his dialysis regime.

 

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.