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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.
After two years of diligent efforts by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and other members of the Alliance for Home Dialysis, the provisions of the CHRONIC Care Act were signed into law after being included in the two-year budget agreement passed in February. The CHRONIC provisions authorize, among other items, a home dialysis patient’s monthly clinical visits to be conducted via telehealth with the home as an originating site. ASN and others supported the inclusion of telemedicine provisions in the recent congressional budget deal to pave the way for greater use of the technology and to boost access to care while reducing costs.
While the legislative success was widely applauded by ASN and other members of the Kidney Community, that was just part of the story. The other part has been playing out on the regulatory side in a choreographed dance between ASN and peer societies on one side and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the other. Perhaps more accurately, the band was warming up and the participants were making their introductions before CHRONIC became law, but now the ball is in full swing.