The framework will improve renal disease support and treatment.
As one of the costliest and physically devastating health epidemics facing our nation today, chronic kidney disease affects more than 30 million Americans, largely due to skyrocketing comorbidities like diabetes, obesity and hypertension. In addition, more than 726,000 Americans live with ESRD — a diagnosis that increases by more than 124,000 individuals every year.
Caring for these Americans — and addressing the sweeping kidney health epidemic — is a complex undertaking that requires commitment and thoughtful collaboration from a broad community of stakeholders. There are no easy answers or quick fixes. Truly making a difference for future generations means recognizing and addressing that the scope of our kidney health problem is significant and goes far beyond dialysis care.
In response to the growing epidemic, Kidney Care Partners (KCP) has released a new roadmap outlining the group’s vision for the future of kidney care in the United States. Kidney Care FIRST: A Framework for Improving Renal Disease Support and Treatment is a step toward better kidney health and better health care. It is KCP’s broad look at how we can dramatically improve kidney care nationwide, save lives and achieve potentially billions of dollars in savings to our health care system. It offers a renewed vision of critical policy priorities and how we can address the full spectrum of the disease cycle: prevention and awareness; keeping people with a CKD diagnosis healthy; preventing or slowing the progression of the disease; addressing comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease; preparing for ESRD, including access to transplant; and home therapy or active medical management.
In the first article of a series outlining Kidney Care FIRST’s five key policy pillars, Barry H. Smith, MD, PhD, president and CEO of The Rogosin Institute, discusses how a focus on awareness and prevention is critical to the future of improving the outlook for Americans with, or at risk for developing, kidney disease. Look for additional articles in upcoming issues of Nephrology News & Issues.
Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKY
Chair, Kidney Care Partners
Chief medical officer, DaVita Kidney Care