Kidney Care Partners Releases Comprehensive ‘Strategic Blueprint’ for Improving Quality

March 4, 2014

‘First-of-Its-Kind’ Report Could ‘Change the Quality Paradigm’ for U.S. Renal Care

Washington, DC – Kidney Care Partners (KCP), a broad-based coalition of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers, researchers and manufacturers, today released a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind report designed to accelerate improvement in the quality of kidney care in the United States.

The blueprint initiative, launched at a national KCP-sponsored quality summit in March 2013, culminated in A Strategic Blueprint for Advancing Kidney Care Quality, supported by 33 organizational leaders in kidney care. The document identifies four key patient-centric goals:

• Improved patient survival;
• Reduced hospitalizations;
• Improved health-related quality of life; and,
• Improved patient experience with care.

The Blueprint also recommends focusing on 32 “strategic opportunities” to achieve these goals.

“Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD or kidney failure) have reached epidemic levels due to the rising incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity,” said Dr. Edward Jones, a practicing nephrologist and chair of Kidney Care Partners. “As the incidence of these conditions increases, so too does the incidence of kidney failure. The Blueprint becomes very important as we prepare to care for a larger patient population, one that is more complex than ever before.”

While there has been measurable quality improvement in several key areas, KCP set out to develop a Blueprint that would rapidly accelerate quality strides. KCP members hope that the Blueprint will stimulate a broad and meaningful discussion about the most important drivers of quality.

“Medicare’s ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) has created a foundation for quality improvements through the development of a core set of quality metrics,” said Dr. Jones. “But we must look beyond the QIP and its measures to drive systematic and rapid improvement. We must ask ourselves ‘What are the right quality metrics?’ We must identify the most effective clinical practices that lead to positive outcomes. We must invest in research, foster system innovation, and ensure that federal policy help drive quality to the next level.

“We are both excited and confident that the KCP Blueprint creates a different quality paradigm,” concluded Dr. Jones. “This Blueprint is a multi-stakeholder, consensus document that provides a near-term roadmap on key actions that, if undertaken through collaboration and partnership, can significantly improve kidney care quality.”