Kidney Care Partners (KCP) welcomed the introduction of a bipartisan bill that improves and expands access to care for the more than 636,000 Americans living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
H.R. 2644, known as the “Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act,” seeks to improve the public’s understanding of kidney disease, expand access to treatment through more research and innovation in this area, increase treatment options for patients and improve quality outcomes.
More specifically, the bill — introduced in the House by Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania), John Lewis (D-Georgia) and Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) — aims to:
- Have the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issue a series of recommendations to Congress on “how to increase kidney transplantation rates; how palliative care can be used to improve the quality of life for those living with kidney disease; and how to better understand kidney disease in minority populations” – to back federal research efforts;
- Create an economically sustainable dialysis infrastructure and modernized quality programs to improve patient care and quality outcomes — for instance, by creating incentives to work in poorer communities and rural areas;
- Increase access to treatment and managed care for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of kidney disease by ensuring Medigap coverage for people living with ESRD, promoting access to home dialysis and allow patients with ESRD to keep their private insurance coverage.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 660,000 Americans are receiving treatment for ESRD. Of these, 468,000 are undergoing dialysis and more than 193,000 have a functioning kidney transplant.
“The kidney community applauds Representatives Marino, Lewis and Roskam for their leadership in protecting this vulnerable patient population” Frank Maddux, chair of the Washington-based KCP, said in a press release. “We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that individuals with kidney disease have the resources and care they need to live quality, healthy lives.”
Maddux added: “The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act provides a clear roadmap for the future of the ESRD program. By supporting increased research, expanded patient choice, and improved quality and care outcomes, this legislation will strengthen the care delivery for millions of individuals living with chronic kidney disease and ESRD.”