Kidney Care Partners Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act

July 28, 2023

WASHINGTON – Kidney Care Partners (KCP) – the nation’s leading kidney care multi-stakeholder coalition representing patient advocates, physician organizations, health professional groups, dialysis providers, researchers and manufacturers – today applauded Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) for re-introducing The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (H.R. 5027).

There are currently nearly 40 million Americans living with kidney disease – a number that almost equals the entire population of California. If left untreated and undiagnosed, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, resulting in a lifetime of dialysis care or need for a kidney transplant.  This critically important legislation, if passed, will support efforts to prevent and better understand chronic kidney disease (CKD) by ensuring appropriate reimbursement for quality care and improve patient access to the best drugs, technology and innovations along the kidney care continuum.

“From expanding prevention and education resources to encouraging the development of breakthrough technologies and treatments, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act sets the stage for the future of kidney care,” said John P. Butler, Chair of KCP. “We thank Representatives Miller and Sewell for their bipartisan leadership in introducing this important bill.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Boost kidney disease prevention efforts by adding CKD screening to the annual wellness benefit to allow Medicare beneficiaries at risk for kidney disease or kidney failure to screen for the disease and seek treatment to slow the progression if diagnosed.
  • Expand access to education resources by expanding the Medicare Kidney Disease Education benefit to allow dialysis facilities to provide kidney disease education services and offer services to Medicare beneficiaries with Stage 5 CKD who are not yet on dialysis.
  • Incentivize innovation by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a long-term payment pathway for new drugs, biologics, devices, or other technologies.
  • Develop a sustainable dialysis infrastructure and address the workforce crisis by ensuring that kidney care providers receive accurate annual payment updates and fostering the nephrology pipeline by including nephrologists and non-physician practitioners in the National Health Service Corp loan forgiveness program.
  • Expand patient choice and coverage by guaranteeing access to Medigap policies for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure.

“As the voice of the nation’s kidney care community, we look forward to working alongside policymakers to advance this legislation and improve the lives of those with kidney disease and kidney failure,” Butler concluded.