U.S. House Representatives Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) have introduced “The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act” (H.R. 4814), a bill that supports improvements in the research, treatment, and care of chronic kidney disease.
“This bill is important because it provides a blueprint for the future of the ESRD program,” said Ed Jones, MD, chairman of Kidney Care Partners and a practicing nephrologist. According to KCP, the bill would:
• Improve understanding of kidney disease.The legislation would identify the gaps in critical research and improve the coordination of federal research efforts. The bill would require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report on ways to improve care management, including progression of kidney disease and treatment of kidney failure in minority populations, who are disproportionally impacted by kidney disease.
- Improve beneficiary access to treatments for kidney disease. The bill would improve access to pre-dialysis kidney disease education programs to better manage patients’ disease condition and even prevent kidney failure. Nephrologists and other health professionals would also be incentivized to work in underserved rural and urban areas. Patients with acute kidney failure would also be allowed to receive treatments through dialysis providers.
- Expand patient choice and improve the coordination of care. The legislation would expand the options for patients by allowing individuals diagnosed with kidney failure to enroll in the Medicare Advantage program. It would also reauthorize on a permanent basis the Special Needs Plan for patients with kidney failure, as well as extend the length of time beneficiaries may choose to maintain their existing insurance coverage.