Kidney Community Applauds Bipartisan Legislation to Improve and Expand Access to Kidney Care

May 25, 2017

Bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA),  John Lewis (D-GA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) would expand access to kidney care treatments and improve patient quality of life

WASHINGTON, DC – Kidney Care Partners (KCP) praised the introduction of bipartisan legislation that elevates care, expands access, and promotes research to benefit the more than 645,600 Americans living with kidney failure.

The “Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017” (H.R. 2644) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA),  John Lewis (D-GA), Peter Roskam (R-IL) and aims to improve the public’s understanding of, and expand access to, treatment for chronic kidney disease through increased research and innovation, expanded choice options for patients, and improved patient care and quality outcomes.

“The kidney community applauds Representatives Marino, Lewis and Roskam for their leadership in protecting this vulnerable patient population” said Dr. Frank Maddux, chair of Kidney Care Partners.  “We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that individuals with kidney disease have the resources and care they need to live quality, healthy lives.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Strengthen federal research efforts by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services and Government Accountability Office to issue several reports and recommendations to Congress, among them: how to increase kidney transplantation rates; how palliative care can be utilized to improve the quality of life for individuals with kidney disease; and, how to better understand chronic kidney disease in minority populations.
  • Improve patient care and quality outcomes by maintaining an economically stable dialysis infrastructure and modernizing quality programs. The bill also creates incentives for health professionals to work in underserved areas and rural communities.
  • Expand care options for patients by allowing individuals diagnosed with kidney failure to access managed care, ensure Medigap coverage for beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), promote access to home dialysis treatments, and allow individuals with kidney failure to retain access to private insurance.

Currently, 31 million Americans either have some form of kidney disease or are at risk of developing kidney failure in the future. And each year, more than 117,000 are diagnosed with ESRD and will eventually require a kidney transplant or dialysis services.

“The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act provides a clear roadmap for the future of the ESRD program,” added Dr. Maddux.  “By supporting increased research, expanded patient choice, and improved quality and care outcomes, this legislation will strengthen the care delivery for millions of individuals living with chronic kidney disease and ESRD.”