WASHINGTON — A speaker at the KidneyX Summit addressed three goals of the HHS that could aid in the efforts to transform the kidney care community to better prevent, diagnose and treat kidney disease.
“Whether you’re a patient, physician, researcher, engineer or are involved in some other way, you’re all here today because you have a passion for seeking ways to improve the lives of so many Americans affected by kidney disease,” Eric Hargan, JD, former deputy secretary of the HHS, said in his keynote presentation. “It is an exciting time to be in the kidney care community because we now have a chance to make major advances in a sector that has not had the same kind of progress that we’ve seen in other areas of health care. For all the successes of health care over the years, we all know that kidney care is in need of significant improvement.”
Hargan stressed that greater efforts to detect, prevent and slow the progression of kidney disease are needed. He said this is especially important as 96% of Americans who have kidney damage or reduced kidney function and 48% with stage 4 kidney disease are unaware of their condition. For those patients who progress to later stages of kidney disease or experience kidney failure, he said more options should be available to them.
Hargan noted that 88% of patients with ESRD begin treatment at an in-center dialysis facility, suggesting that dialysis providers need payment incentives to provide patients with choices, including home dialysis, which “can be more convenient and better for independence and self-sufficiency.”
Furthermore, Hargan proposed making more organs available for transplant and developing wearable and implantable artificial kidneys “to help more Americans escape the burdens of today’s dialysis altogether.”
“Our current payment policies don’t encourage the kind of innovative product development that our patients deserve,” Hargan said. “We are gathered here today because today’s options are not good enough. We’ve waited long enough for better solutions and treatments in the realm of kidney care. KidneyX can set us on a trajectory that offers real hope for those suffering from this debilitating disease. Together, we are all focused on transforming kidney care in this country.” – by Melissa J. Webb
Hargan E. Transforming kidney care. Presented at: KidneyX Summit. April 29-30, 2019; Washington.
Disclosure: Healio/Nephrology was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.