Wednesday, July 10, the Trump administration will announce a new Department of Health and Human Services-wide (HHS) Comprehensive Kidney Care strategy. ASN and other kidney care groups have been working and meeting with Administration officials, including Secretary Alex M. Azar, II, all year providing input and recommendations for inclusion of in the new strategy.
Administration officials have indicated a three-pronged approach to achieving kidney health addressing the following:
Needing more efforts to prevent, detect, and slow the progression of kidney disease.
Providing patients with kidney failure more options for treatment, from both today’s technologies and those of the future.
Delivering more organs for transplants and develop wearable and implantable artificial kidneys to help more Americans escape the burdens of dialysis altogether.
Secretary Azar originally outlined some of the administration's thoughts in a March 4, 2019 public address. ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, issued a statement at that time saying:
“ASN believes that Secretary Azar’s tripartite strategy, focused on preventing kidney diseases by catalyzing innovation in health care delivery and therapeutics, expanding alternatives to in-center dialysis, and increasing the availability of organs for kidney transplantation, will significantly improve the lives of those Americans affected by kidney diseases. The Secretary understands the urgent need to bring higher quality care to patients. He experienced it firsthand when his father had kidney failure, underwent dialysis, and then fortunately received a kidney transplant. I commend the Secretary and this administration for acknowledging that the current state of care for kidney patients is unacceptable and that complex barriers inhibit innovation—and for developing a visionary strategy to change that reality.” Read more
There is a defined precedent of federal government assistance in the kidney care space. Starting on October 31, 1972, 47 years ago to the month, President Nixon signed legislation to create the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program. The program provides near universal coverage under Medicare for every patient suffering from kidney failure, regardless of age or prior disability, and has since benefited millions of kidney patients and their families by providing dialysis treatment.
Currently, innovation in home dialysis and other solutions are being pursued by those in the kidney sphere and in the last year the federal government has shown their desire to address the situation by investing in the KidneyX Innovation Accelerator, which is a public-private partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics, and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care. Additionally, a public-private partnership between the FDA and ASN created the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) which works to catalyze innovation and the development of safe and effective patient-centered therapies for people living with kidney diseases.
Stay tuned to Kidney News Online for more information regarding the outcome of this exciting event.
Politico picked up the announcement in an article published July 8.