Alex Azar II
WASHINGTON — Today, HHS Secretary Alex Azar II was presented with the American Society of Nephrology’s President’s Medal, an award that recognizes individuals who, despite not being ASN members, have helped advance the society’s mission, according to ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN.
“For more than a decade, ASN has worked to build bipartisan support throughout the federal government of the United States for people with kidney diseases, their families and their caregivers, as well as for the researchers trying to eradicate kidney diseases,” Rosenberg said during a presentation here at ASN Kidney Week. “Ultimately, the executive order and the national prioritization of kidney health would not have happened without the vision and leadership of HHS Secretary Alex Azar.”
Azar told the audience that “there is no time to waste” in moving forward with Advancing American Kidney Health. To accomplish the goals put forth by the administration, he said HHS has recently launched a partnership between ASN and the National Kidney Foundation to educate Americans on how they can improve their kidney health. Arguing that public health efforts must be supplemented by changing the incentives around kidney care, four options of payment models (or “kidney care choices,”) have been launched. These are expected to enroll more than 200,000 Medicare patients. He said the ESRD Treatment Choices model will give a significant portion of dialysis providers incentive to encourage home dialysis, adding that “better payment incentives are a powerful and necessary piece for transforming the care that kidney patients receive.”
Lastly, he announced a “new step toward an optimal transplant system.” In mid-November, the Health Resources and Services Administration will issue a request for information to determine more effective ways in which modern IT systems can help in allocating organs and handling patient and donor data on a national scale.
“This award is a tribute to the hard work of dozens and dozens of men and women across HHS and the White House who have been working hard to advance kidney care and kidney health in the United States,” Azar said. “We also would not be where we are today, on the cusp of a major revolution in how America cares for kidney disease, without all of you here at the ASN meeting.” – by Melissa J. Webb
Azar A. and Rosenberg M. President’s Medal. Presented at: ASN Kidney Week; Nov. 7-10, 2019; Washington D.C.
Disclosure: Financial disclosures could not be determined prior to publication.