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David White

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and 35 kidney care organizations wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, JD, to express their strong support and gratitude for the formation of KidneyX, a public-private partnership to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.

In 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report highlighting that Medicare spent $33.9 billion to manage kidney failure through Medicare’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program—more than 7 percent of all Medicare spending in 2015.[1]

David L. White

Members of Congress and regulators are keenly focused on kidney healthcare and the policies around it. With more than 40 million people in the United States living with kidney diseases and 700,000 Americans with kidney failure, Medicare costs topped more than $114 billion in managing kidney diseases in 2016, which accounts for 23% of all Medicare spending. With such a growing burden both on patients and their families and on taxpayers, the pressure is on policymakers to realign the incentives and priorities to achieve better outcomes.

A new vision for kidney care

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary

Grant Olan and David White

Congress is not expected to accomplish much before the general election season begins in earnest this summer, but there is broad bipartisan support for accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new therapies.

With overwhelming support, the House of Representatives passed major legislation in July 2015 called the 21st Century Cures Initiative that would spur medical innovation and drug development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Senate is currently considering advancing a similar legislative package of its own. This spring, the Senate held three hearings and passed 19 bills that incorporate

Rachel Shaffer and David White

Policymakers and public health officials are sounding the alarm about the opioid overdose crisis nationwide. More than 115 people die each day due to opioid-related drug overdoses, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has made combatting this epidemic one of his top priorities. White House and HHS officials have met with representatives of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and peer medical societies to discuss strategies to confront the epidemic and have also launched a public service campaign to help educate Americans about the highly addictive nature of opioids.

The Trump administration has launched

David L. White

Every summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) propose rules that govern physician reimbursement, the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program, and the newer Quality Payment Program (QPP), which is entering its third year in calendar year 2019. This summer has been no exception, with some proposed changes that benignly refine programs around the edges, and others that mark significant changes in course.

In July 2018, CMS released the ESRD PPS and QIP proposed rules. In what is expected to be a permanent change, the proposed rule for the first time combines the QPP and the Physician Fee

David L. White

Nephrology faces challenges. Clinically, other internal medicine specialties increasingly are managing diseases traditionally considered in the domain of the nephrologist. Funding for kidney research is less per patient than every other major disease, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. And the next generation is less interested in nephrology careers than any previous generation.

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is committed to working with every member of the kidney community—particularly the society’s more than 20,000 members—to overcome these challenges, assert the value of nephrology, and articulate a positive, bold vision for the specialty’s future. The question is no longer

Mallika Mendu and David White

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 model will test changes to care for Americans with kidney disease within a 30%, randomized set of Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD. 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 government will use hospital referral regions (HRRs) to randomize participation. Within those selected HRRs, both dialysis units, “facility,” and nephrologists, “managing

David L. White

For decades, translational researchers have increased options for treating diseases by bringing together the scientific, medical, and engineering fields to advance the understanding of biology and disease pathogenesis. For example, there are now more than 100 identified genetic causes of cellular dysfunction in patients, work that is further supported by a greater focus on data sharing across academia and industry, opening the doors to new and more individualized treatments that target disease subtypes as a personalized approach. Private investment, through licensing or venture capital, plays an important role in pushing these advances closer to the clinician and patient, with investment

David L. White

“There are three phases of this plan,” HHS Secretary Price said. “One is the bill that was introduced [March 7, 2017] in the House of Representatives… Second are all the regulatory modifications and changes that can be put into place… [t]here were 192 specific rules that were put out as they relate to Obamacare, over 5,000 letters of guidance and the like.”

“And we are going to go through every single one of those and make certain that they—if they help patients, then we need to continue them. If they harm patients or—or increase costs, then obviously they need to

David L White

Some students prefer Chicago-style hot dogs to Maine lobster rolls. Building on the success of the Mt. Desert Island program, ASN is expanding the TREKS program (Tutored Research and Education for Kidney Students) to Chicago.

TREKS will leverage the University of Chicago’s uniquely designed renal physiology program so medical and graduate students can study renal physiology with experts, network with peers and subsequently benefit from a mentor relationship with a kidney expert at their home institution