In a recent letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), ASN offered an overview of the current state of inequities and disparities in kidney diseases and emphasized four areas for consideration when evaluating agency policies and actions.
Spurred by OMB’s Request for Information (RFI) regarding the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, the letter recognized the importance of identifying effective methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions (e.g., programs, services, processes, and operations) equitably serve all eligible individuals and communities, particularly those that are currently and historically underserved.
The letter also proposed that the policy should aim to:
Reduce inequities in the early diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases for all patients with, or at risk of, kidney disease.
Help transform transplantation such that all eligible patients have increased access to donor kidneys.
Accelerate research and innovation to expand patient choice, including the choice to do home dialysis.
Focus on achieving equity and eliminating disparities in kidney diseases.
“The roots of disparities among those with or at risk for kidney diseases are deep and multifactorial, spanning from inequities in disease detection and prevention to access to optimal therapies for kidney failure such as transplantation and home dialysis, and these disparities are closely linked to social determinants of health and systemic racism on a national level,” the letter states.
“In addition to the gross inequities in the burden of kidney diseases, kidney diseases are costly to the American taxpayer. Annually, Medicare spends more than $130 billion managing the care of all kidney patients and nearly $50 billion alone on care for those with kidney failure. These expenditures do not include spending on kidney health by the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense, the Indian Health Service, or private payers.”
More than 37,000,000 Americans live with kidney diseases, the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. ASN strives to ensure racial and ethnic biases do not affect the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases, including access to transplantation, home dialysis, new therapies, and innovation. The society continues to educate health professionals and scientists, advance research and innovation, communicate new knowledge, and advocate for the highest quality care for patients.