ASN Helps Shape Federal COVID-19 Response

By Killian Gause

July 15, 2020

As the threat of COVID-19 was emerging in the United States, ASN and the broader kidney community participated in an effort organized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop policy recommendations that address the effects of COVID-19 on kidney patients and kidney care professionals. 

The workgroups discussed and prioritized nearly 300 COVID-19-related kidney policy recommendations across seven key issue areas. HHS has already instituted many of the recommendations ASN and other stakeholders in the community made, and the society continues to work closely with the community to advocate for the policy recommendations to improve the care of kidney patients and protect the kidney care professionals that care for them.

Key workgroup recommendations are listed below. Policies that have been finalized are listed in italics.

Patient Care


Innovation & Technology 

  • Align three prize challenges that KidneyX will launch in FY 2020 to advance their original objectives, while simultaneously addressing kidney-COVID-19 priorities and accelerating solutions
  • Reframe the future "KidneyX Patient Innovators Challenge" as the "KidneyX Innovation for COVID-19" challenge to identify, lift, and scale innovations that are working on the front lines, while advancing Kidney Health EO goals
  • Request HHS act as a convener and create a collection of online resources that would bring together messaging about care and resources, as an authoritative source for patients and providers on COVID-19 and kidney disease


Federal & State Support

  • Direct federal assistance to help hospitals meet increased demands for dialysis from COVID-19’s toll on the kidneys.


Telehealth


Home & In-Center Dialysis

  • Permit the use of in-patient dialysis units to be used for out-patient dialysis by waiving standard conditions of coverage during the crisis in order to provide more dialysis access and enable social distancing.
  • Waive the requirement that dialysis organizations must collect labs for home dialysis patients on a monthly basis to reduce the risk of exposing them to COVID-19 outside of their homes.
  • Provide a 3% per-treatment add-on payment to dialysis facilities for every new patient who receives home dialysis


Reimbursement & Transportation


General Policy


The kidney community and the federal government have made significant progress on policy addressing COVID-19’s effect on kidney patients, however, more must be done. ASN continues to advocate for these issues to provide a safe environment for kidney care professionals to provide optimal care for kidney patients during this public health crisis. In keeping with this effort, the society recently joined the National Kidney Foundation in making recommendations to HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II regarding the unique care needs of kidney patients that must be considered as the nation begins to “re-open.”

To keep ASN members informed of COVID-19-related policy developments, ASN regularly updates a list on Kidney News Online featuring policy changes, available at: ASN Policy in Action During COVID-19”.

Category:
Subcategory:
Author:
Killian Gause
Body:

As the threat of COVID-19 was emerging in the United States, ASN and the broader kidney community participated in an effort organized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop policy recommendations that address the effects of COVID-19 on kidney patients and kidney care professionals. 

The workgroups discussed and prioritized nearly 300 COVID-19-related kidney policy recommendations across seven key issue areas. HHS has already instituted many of the recommendations ASN and other stakeholders in the community made, and the society continues to work closely with the community to advocate for the policy recommendations to improve the care of kidney patients and protect the kidney care professionals that care for them.

Key workgroup recommendations are listed below. Policies that have been finalized are listed in italics.

Patient Care


Innovation & Technology 

  • Align three prize challenges that KidneyX will launch in FY 2020 to advance their original objectives, while simultaneously addressing kidney-COVID-19 priorities and accelerating solutions
  • Reframe the future "KidneyX Patient Innovators Challenge" as the "KidneyX Innovation for COVID-19" challenge to identify, lift, and scale innovations that are working on the front lines, while advancing Kidney Health EO goals
  • Request HHS act as a convener and create a collection of online resources that would bring together messaging about care and resources, as an authoritative source for patients and providers on COVID-19 and kidney disease


Federal & State Support

  • Direct federal assistance to help hospitals meet increased demands for dialysis from COVID-19’s toll on the kidneys.


Telehealth


Home & In-Center Dialysis

  • Permit the use of in-patient dialysis units to be used for out-patient dialysis by waiving standard conditions of coverage during the crisis in order to provide more dialysis access and enable social distancing.
  • Waive the requirement that dialysis organizations must collect labs for home dialysis patients on a monthly basis to reduce the risk of exposing them to COVID-19 outside of their homes.
  • Provide a 3% per-treatment add-on payment to dialysis facilities for every new patient who receives home dialysis


Reimbursement & Transportation


General Policy


The kidney community and the federal government have made significant progress on policy addressing COVID-19’s effect on kidney patients, however, more must be done. ASN continues to advocate for these issues to provide a safe environment for kidney care professionals to provide optimal care for kidney patients during this public health crisis. In keeping with this effort, the society recently joined the National Kidney Foundation in making recommendations to HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II regarding the unique care needs of kidney patients that must be considered as the nation begins to “re-open.”

To keep ASN members informed of COVID-19-related policy developments, ASN regularly updates a list on Kidney News Online featuring policy changes, available at: ASN Policy in Action During COVID-19”.

Date:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020