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Grant Olan and Rachel Shaffer

The ASN Council, Public Policy Board, and Board of Advisors met with legislators on Capitol Hill as part of the biannual Board of Advisors meeting on April 26, 2012. The second annual ASN Hill Day provided ASN leaders an opportunity to talk directly with lawmakers and House and Senate staff about issues of importance to ASN and the kidney care community. ASN leaders met with more than 50 congressional offices, including more than a half-dozen meetings with senators and representatives themselves, and were divided into four teams to discuss one of the following issues:

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and

Rachel Shaffer and Grant Olan

On April 26, 2012, the ASN Public Policy Board, Council, and Board of Advisors ascended Capitol Hill to participate in the second annual ASN Hill Day. ASN leaders and staff met with nearly 60 congressional offices in both the House and Senate to address four key issues of importance to ASN’s members and the patients they treat:

The evolving practice environment in nephrology and the Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program: ASN leaders discussed with policymakers the reality that regardless of what the Supreme Court rules regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the changes in the Medicare ESRD

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 Grant Olan

The worst outcomes of the “fiscal cliff” were averted for now with President Barack Obama’s signing into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) on January 2. In addition to permanently extending most of the 2001 and 2003 temporary tax cuts, the new law includes spending cuts to prevent a nearly $27 billion cut to Medicare physician reimbursement rates in 2013, and delays sequestration—automatic across-the-board spending cuts to federal discretionary spending and a 2 percent cut to other Medicare services initially scheduled to take effect January 2, 2013—for 2 months until March 2013.

The new March deadline enacted for dealing

Grant Olan and Rachel Shaffer

Continuing an annual tradition, ASN leaders went to Capitol Hill for Kidney Health Advocacy Day on April 25, 2013. In a first for ASN, society leaders teamed up with patient advocates from the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) and Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) for meetings with congressional offices in the House and Senate about issues of importance to ASN and the kidney care community. ASN, AAKP, and DPC met with more than 40 congressional offices, and met personally with members of Congress in one of every four meetings. ASN, AAKP, and DPC participants advocated for three key issues:

Transplant

Grant Olan and Lisa Bryan

In June, ASN hosted its first-ever PhD Summit. Chaired by ASN Physiology and Cell and Molecular Biology Advisory Group Chair Jeffrey H. Miner, PhD, and ASN President Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN, the summit focused on identifying ways the society can advance PhD interest in kidney research and improve the environment for its PhD members.

Dr. Miner and Dr. Molitoris were joined by a diverse group of 16 PhDs. Participants included ASN members and nonmembers from academia, industry, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Prior to attending the summit, participants completed a survey to

Grant Olan and Michael Fischer

Not many people know about the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) research program outside the Washington beltway. The lack of recognition may in part be because the program is dwarfed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget ($589 million vs. $29.4 billion in 2015). Yet the VA is a leader in a number of research fields, including vision and hearing loss, orthopedics and prosthetics, and mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. VA investigators—half of whom are clinician-scientists—have won three Nobel Prizes and seven Lasker Awards, the US equivalent of a Nobel Prize

Ian H. de Boer, Grant Olan, and Uptal D. Patel

In 2012, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) comprehensively summarized the available evidence evaluating the risks and benefits of screening for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the general population. Utilizing these data, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) determined that existing evidence was insufficient to balance the benefits and harms of routine screening for CKD in asymptomatic adults. Subsequently, the USPSTF identified screening for CKD as its top priority in a report to Congress on high-priority evidence gaps for clinical preventive services. USPSTF also identified screening for CKD in African Americans as the most important evidence gap