Addressing Health Care Inequities
The systemic barriers to accessing basic health care likely play a substantial role in the disproportionate spread of burdens associated with kidney disease and kidney failure. We must address these inequities to ensure every patient has access to preventative, early, and quality care.
Racial and ethnic minorities, those with low socioeconomic status, and those with low health literacy and distrust in the health care system disproportionately live with kidney disease, face greater difficulties in accessing preventative care and chronic disease management services, and tend to be diagnosed in later, more severe stages of the disease.
As we address these issues, KCP recognizes it is critically important we ensure there are adequate numbers of physicians who are appropriately trained to understand and recognize CKD. We need more physicians to diagnose individuals earlier in the disease progression, helping individuals understand the disease and find a nephrologist.
Once diagnosed, a transplant is the best therapeutic option for individuals living with kidney failure, yet the vast majority of people with ESRD do not have access to a transplant. To improve transplant equity, KCP recommends improving communication and transparency among patients and providers and expanding educational opportunities for individuals with kidney disease and potential donors. By working with HHS, CMS, and other agencies to address barriers to accessing transplant, home dialysis selection, and expanding the awareness and early interventions for CKD, KCP can help all individuals slow the progression of the disease and empower them to choose the treatment and payment modality that works best for them.
KCP Comment Letters & Resources:
- KCP Response to CMS Request for Information on Health and Safety Requirements for Transplant Programs, Organ Procurement Organizations, and End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities (January 28, 2022)
- KCP Letter to OMB on “Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government Request for Information” (July 6, 2021)