Kidney Care Partners Addresses Growing Kidney Disease Epidemic with Comprehensive Roadmap for the Future of Care in the United States

June 17, 2019

Kidney Care First framework offers renewed vision for quality care across the continuum, from disease prevention to dialysis innovation to improved organ transplant access

WASHINGTON – In response to the nation’s growing kidney disease epidemic, Kidney Care Partners (KCP) today released a comprehensive new roadmap outlining the group’s renewed vision for the future of kidney care in the United States. Kidney Care First: A Framework for Improving Renal Disease Support & Treatment builds upon KCP’s 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.

“The kidney care community has a long history of challenging ourselves to do better, and this roadmap is evidence that we won’t rest as long as kidney disease and failure continue to grow – and burden the lives of Americans, as well as the nation’s healthcare infrastructure,” said Dr. Allen R. Nissenson, KCP Chair. “We’re confident that the goals laid out in Kidney Care First – after more than a year of development by leading stakeholders in the kidney community – will help empower patients, improve care quality, delay or prevent disease, and strengthen the existing care network that so many Americans depend upon.”

Kidney Care First is organized around five key pillars, and presents multiple “policy avenues” – specific policy changes or initiatives – within each. The roadmap focuses on awareness/prevention, patient empowerment, quality/access to quality care, innovation, and research.

“A central element of this roadmap is understanding that truly addressing the kidney care epidemic means more than focusing strictly on disease progression and kidney failure,” Nissenson added. “Making a difference requires us to see all angles – especially patient empowerment, education and prevention and innovations so that we can slow the tide of those who might one day progress to the final stages.”

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) remains a silent killer in the United States. It is the ninth leading cause of mortality and affects more than 30 million Americans. Three-quarters of a million individuals live with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and require lifesaving dialysis treatments to survive.

Since 2003, the kidney care community has advocated for patients and care providers by spearheading important quality initiatives and working with lawmakers to develop forward-thinking legislation, including improving Medicare’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) benefit. Over the past 15 years since inception, the group of 34 organizations representing researchers, clinicians, providers, patient advocates, and manufacturers has successfully helped advance quality programs and policies that have help improve patient access and choice to kidney care, while improving quality of life and saving the Medicare program billions of dollars.

“We look forward to challenging ourselves even further and working collaboratively with our nation’s policymakers and stakeholders on Kidney Care FIRST’s recommendations that can be addressed in legislative and regulatory environments, and community engagement opportunities,” Nissenson said.  “We remain committed to our shared goal of significantly improving the lives of individuals with kidney disease and kidney failure in America, and ensuring our nation’s healthcare delivery system provides the resources, access, choice, and innovations needed to get there together.”

Read the full Kidney Care First framework here.