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.
The President’s Executive Order, issued in conjunction with the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative, calls for new payment models for kidney physicians. Here’s a brief rundown of how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation propose they would work.
According to the statement released by the American Society of Transplantation (AST):
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP) recently published data on shortages of tacrolimus, an anti-rejection medicine used to prevent rejection after organ transplantation. At the time this information was published, these shortages apply to some generic versions of tacrolimus, and dates for resolution of the shortages range from July 2019 to April 2020. Generic formulations have been evaluated by the FDA and are equivalent to brand-name (innovator) medicines. If this shortage affects your patients, we recommend discussing alternative options within your teams to devise a management strategy.
CMS is proposing to give Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans the option to limit coverage of drugs in six categories — known as the “protected classes” — in a bid to lower pharmaceutical costs. The agency posted a proposed rule in the Federal Register on Nov. 30, available for public comment through Jan. 25, that would give health plans the ability to exclude protected class drugs from medication prescription lists in certain instances. The changes are estimated to save the government about $1.9 billion over 10 years and save Medicare enrollees $692 million in cost sharing.
In the first major transformation in kidney care in almost 50 years, the Trump Administration announced the Advancing the American Kidney Health initiative on July 10, 2019. The comprehensive kidney health strategy will bring sweeping changes to care for people with kidney diseases, including more choices for dialysis modalities, greater access to transplantation, and concerted support for development of innovative therapies, including artificial kidneys.
On Monday March 4th, Secretary Alex M. Azar II delivered a speech at the 6th Annual Kidney Patient Summit outlining both KidneyX and the strategic pillars of establishing an HHS-wide approach to comprehensive kidney care. ASN released a statement from ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, congratulating Secretary Azar and HHS on implementing this bold plan to better serve kidney disease patients and confirming ASN’s commitment to work together to achieve this goal.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is hosting an exclusive webinar on the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, from 2:00-2:45 p.m. EDT.
Hear an overview of the Executive Order launching the initiative, an overview of the forthcoming new payment models, and discuss the report from the office of Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation. The webinar is free to attend.
On Monday September 2nd, the Trump Administration announced a change to a policy that allowed immigrants to receive a temporary reprieve from deportation while receiving life-savings medical care in the US. In a joint statement from the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), the societies raised concerns about this the decision due to the harmful effect it will have on immigrants—children, their families, and adults—currently on dialysis treatment in the US.
In an editorial released on June 23rd by The Hill ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN and NKF President Kramer, MD, MPH expressed that the intersection of COVID-19 and kidney disease is fraught with potential calamities and investment for prevention and research are necessary.
“Kidney patients – including those with kidney failure receiving dialysis and transplant recipients – are more at risk from SARS-CoV-2 exposure because of their vulnerable physical conditions, weakened immune systems, and the open settings in which they receive care. Data has shown that people with kidney diseases were 2.5 times more likely to die than other hospitalized patients with COVID-19. And recent data released from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that kidney disease patients undergoing dialysis were hospitalized with COVID-19 at a rate of 1,341 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries, the highest hospitalization rate among all Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, the first few deaths that occurred in the state of Washington were patients with kidney disease. Kidney disease also disproportionately affects minority populations, a population at higher risk for COVID-19 and COVID-19 associated mortality compared to non-minority populations,” states the editorial.