Trump Administration Brings Attention to Kidney Health

Andrew Cummings
July 11, 2019

The president is delivering the speech at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in D.C. Their members have worked to remove barriers to accessing home dialysis, which include establishing the Kidney Disease Education program through which clinicians can promote modality choices, aligning of home and in-center payment rates to eliminate disincentives for providing home dialysis, and promoting changes to coverage policies to support home hemodialysis.

President Donald Trump's executive order on kidney disease care will change Medicare payment models so that people diagnosed with illnesses can get treatment sooner and slow disease progression, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday.

More than 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease, costing Medicare a staggering $113 billion. That won't happen overnight - some of the initiatives will require new government regulations.

Health officials said about 12% of Americans receive dialysis at home, in part because of a payment structure that pays doctors more when they use pricier dialysis centres. Through DaVita Kidney Care, the company treats patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DCI, founded in 1971, is the nation's largest non-profit dialysis provider addressing a person's kidney care needs from early detection, intervention, dialysis treatment, transplantation and end of life care. Her kidney failure struck while she was being treated for another disease, and she woke up in the hospital attached to a dialysis machine.

Because a severe organ shortage complicates the call for more transplants, the administration will try to ease the financial hardships for living donors by reimbursing them for expenses such as lost wages and child care, the Republican president said. This visionary initiative, created to improve patient outcomes and generate significant healthcare savings, addresses the critical areas to significantly improve the lives of individuals with chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, and kidney transplants.

Home options include portable blood-cleansing machines, or what's called peritoneal dialysis that works through an abdominal tube, usually while patients are sleeping. The Trump Administration is clearly aligned with CareDx in its mission to improve the long-term outcomes of kidney transplant patients. Trump said it may be possible to find 17,000 more kidneys and 11,000 other organs from deceased donors for transplant every year.

These changes are being implemented through Medicare's innovation center, created under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and empowered to seek savings and improved quality. DCI started DCI Donor Services to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Organs. (a) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall propose a regulation to enhance the procurement and utilization of organs available through deceased donation by revising Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) rules and evaluation metrics to establish more transparent, reliable, and enforceable objective metrics for evaluating an OPO's performance. Unlike the medical advances in transplantation, "we haven't really made big dents and progress and moves in increasing cadaveric organs or increasing live donor options".

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