Cover Stories

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) maintenance of certification (MOC) program has generated controversy since its introduction in 2014. Physicians have expressed frustration with a process many find burdensome, costly, and irrelevant to their everyday practice.

The US prevalence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) continues to increase, but the rate of new cases may be leveling off. Meanwhile, mortality among patients on dialysis or with a kidney transplant continues to decline. Those are among the key findings of the recently released 2014 US Renal Data System Annual Data Report.


Very small changes in pH levels in the blood may affect renal calcium reabsorption and parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion, new research suggests. The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, could have important implications for the health of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Although numerous studies have shown that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is linked with an increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, should all patients with CKD be taking statins? A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology compares different cholesterol management guidelines and assesses the utility of risk equations to answer this question.

While Medicaid is designed to provide health insurance for low-income Americans, states have flexibility within federal guidelines to design their programs. There is limited information on how differences in Medicaid coverage influence chronic disease care. Now a study shows that states with broader Medicaid coverage have lower incidences of kidney failure and smaller insurance-related gaps in access to kidney disease care.

Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease Evident Decades Before Diagnosis

Risk factors for many chronic diseases are present well before any signs of a problem. Age, hypertension, ethnicity, diabetes, smoking, low HDL cholesterol, proteinuria, and obesity all have been identified as risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but most studies have evaluated such risk factors at or near the time of diagnosis. Earlier identification may allow for risk factor modification and disease prevention.

Fourth of July weekend: parades, barbecues, fireworks—and the annual release of proposed revisions to the Medicare ESRD End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Quality Incentive Program (QIP). On Wednesday, July 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule recommending changes to the ESRD program, adding 359 pages of federal regulations to ASN’s Public Policy Board’s and Quality Metrics Task Force’s holiday weekend reading.

Italian Nephrologists Invent Renal Replacement Machine for Neonates

Some of the smallest infants with acute kidney injury (AKI) can now seize the day—with a dialysis system specifically designed for them. The Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine (CARPEDIEM) is the first continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) designed for neonates.