Kidney Community Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Senate Legislation to Improve and Expand Access to Kidney Care Treatments and Improve Quality of Life

The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019 (S. 1676) was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin and Roy Blunt.

Washington, DC, May 28, 2019 --( Kidney Care Partners (KCP) – the nation’s largest kidney coalition comprised of physician groups, providers, patient groups, manufacturers and researchers – today praised the introduction of the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019 (S. 1676) – a bill to improve the understanding of, and promote access to treatment for, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure. The legislation was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

If passed, this legislation would raise awareness, incentivize innovation, improve care, and empower the more than 30 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease.

“KCP applauds Senators Cardin and Blunt for their leadership in protecting this patient population with serious health conditions,” said Dr. Allen Nissenson, chair of Kidney Care Partners. “We look forward to our continued work with bipartisan lawmakers in both the Senate and the House to ensure that individuals with kidney disease have the resources and care they need to live quality, healthy lives.”

Specifically, the legislation does the following:

· Increases access to the Medicare kidney disease education benefit.
· Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the current utilization of palliative care services in treating individuals with kidney disease.
· Expands kidney care access in underserved areas by adding nephrology health professionals to National Health Service Corps Scholarship and Loan Programs.
· Improves care coordination for individuals on dialysis by requiring hospitals to provide information to their dialysis providers.
· Maintains an economically stable dialysis infrastructure while incentivizing innovation for new drugs, biologicals, devices, and other technologies.
· Improves patient decision making and transparency by consolidating and modernizing quality programs.
· Guarantees access to Medigap policies to all ESRD beneficiaries, regardless of age.

“The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019 provides a clear roadmap for the future of kidney care,” added Dr. Nissenson. “By focusing on patients and supporting expanded access to and improved quality of care, this legislation will help millions of individuals living with chronic kidney disease and ESRD achieve the quality of life they want and deserve.”
Kidney Care Partners
Sarah Ann Rhoades