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. More than 726,000 Americans live with ESRD, a diagnosis that grows by more than 124,000 patients 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.
Allen R. Nissenson
Kidney Care FIRST: A Framework for Improving Renal Disease Support & Treatment is a step toward better kidney health and better health care. It is Kidney Care Partner’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 to address the full spectrum of the disease cycle including: 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 this second article in a series outlining Kidney Care FIRST’s five key policy pillars, Keith Bellovich, DO, discusses how empowering patients through choices in their care complements the greater drive to harness the CKD and ESRD epidemic.
– Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF
Chair, Kidney Care Partners
Chief medical officer, DaVita Kidney Care