Kidney Care Partners Encouraged by House and Senate Interest in Care Coordination for Patients with Kidney Failure

January 1, 2016

Washington, DC — As Congress continues to work with the kidney community to refine coordinated care models for patients with kidney failure — or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) — Kidney Care Partners (KCP) underscored its belief that improved care coordination will lead to improved patient outcomes.

“We believe it is important for policymakers to examine novel models of care coordination for kidney patients because a majority of patients are living with multiple chronic conditions and medical challenges.” said Dr. Franklin Maddux, KCP chair. “We also believe that dialysis facilities, nephrologists, and other providers can and should partner to coordinate Medicare benefits for ESRD patients with the goal of truly quarterbacking patient care. Data indicates that for patients diagnosed with kidney failure integrated care has resulted in fewer hospital days and disease-related complications, which therefore reduces costs,” said Dr. Maddux.

To that end, KCP expressed appreciation to lead sponsors and staff for their willingness to engage with the kidney care community as they drafted the legislation, specifically, Sens. Bill Nelson and Dean Heller and Reps. Todd Young and Earl Blumenauer, the lead sponsors of the Patient Access To Integrated-Care, Empowerment, Nephrologists and Treatment Demonstration Act of 2016, H.R. 5506 and S. 3090 respectively.

ESRD patients face numerous medical challenges. Not only do these individuals require life-sustaining dialysis treatments typically three times per week for approximately four hours per treatment, most patients also are living with multiple chronic health conditions that require the involvement of more than one medical specialist.  These patients typically use an average of eight different medications and are hospitalized approximately twice each year.  Coordination of care across settings and providers is crucial to ensuring positive patient outcomes.

“We appreciate the continued time and interest that Sens. Nelson and Heller and Reps. Young and Blumenauer and staff have dedicated to exploring policies that would improve the lives of individuals with kidney failure,” said Dr. Maddux.  “KCP appreciates their willingness to engage with the kidney care community, and we look forward to ongoing discussions about this important issue.”