Individuals with kidney diseases are living longer and fuller lives, with more choices and better access to kidney care than ever before - but there's more to be done.
That’s good news for the estimated 37 million Americans living with kidney diseases, and welcome news for their families and loved ones, employers and communities too.
Kidney disease is a silent killer that strains our healthcare system. Left untreated, kidney diseases can develop into end stage renal disease (ESRD) – or kidney failure – requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant to live.
The first year on dialysis is especially challenging given the individual’s complex medical needs. But today, the rate of individuals reaching kidney failure is declining and those on dialysis are living longer and spending less time in hospitals, saving lives and saving billions of dollars to our nation’s health care system.
In fact, improvements in care and survival rates for individuals receiving dialysis have outpaced other serious chronic disease conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart failure, COPD, and stroke. This positive trend also includes a fall in per capita Medicare spending compared to the same aforementioned diseases.
These are positive trends, but there’s more to be done. A continued focus on earlier diagnoses and innovative approaches to treatment are critical. Increased access to living organ donations must also be a top priority.
The future of kidney care looks bright. By working collaboratively with Congress and the Administration, we are advancing legislation like the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Ac and other policies to promote education, awareness and prevention, improve quality of life for patients, and increase investment in research and innovation in care.
Recognizing the need for further action, the kidney care community has developed Kidney Care First: A Framework for Improving Renal Disease Support & Treatment, a comprehensive new roadmap outlining the group’s renewed vision for the future of kidney care in the United States. Kidney Care First builds upon our commitment to care delivery by addressing the full spectrum of the kidney disease cycle – from prevention to transplant – for the millions of Americans who either have the disease, or are at risk for developing it.