The Renal Physicians Association (RPA) has planned its plenary sessions and workshops at its 2015 annual meeting to support its role as the recognized advocate for excellence in nephrology practice, representing and serving the interests of nephrology practitioners in their pursuit and delivery of quality renal health care.

In addition to the valuable updates provided on the latest developments affecting nephrology practice from the legislative, executive and administrative branches of government, speakers will address topics important to dialysis facility medical directors, opportunities for building strategic relationships to strengthen nephrology practices, and patient engagement opportunities to improve practice performance.

At the conference, Louise Aronson, MD, a geriatrics professor at UC Davis and author of the book, “A History of the Present Illness”, will present the Louis Diamond Lecture. Dr. Aronson uses story telling and narratives as an effective form of communication to engage patients in their care, and her talk entitled, “Improving Health Care One Patient at a Time” will challenge nephrology practitioners to rethink care delivery approaches.

Several sessions will focus on success factors for nephrology practices and how to prepare for participation in Medicare performance incentive programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System  and Meaningful Use. Building relationships with primary care physicians, health systems and others will be critical to position practices for success in new value-based care models, such as accountable care organizations and others. Representatives from kidney care companies and health systems will share their perspectives on this topic. For those considering joint ventures, experts will address questions and concerns.

The Conference

Annual meeting

Renal Physicians Association

March 19-22 (includes pre-conference workshops)

Baltimore Hilton

To register and for program information, go to

At the individual nephrologist level, experts will share strategies for meeting the requirements for Maintenance of Certification and benchmarking for the value based payment modifier. With all of the additional regulatory requirements placed on practitioners in addition to their delivery of high quality kidney care, this meeting will address how to maintain the optimal work/life balance to avoid burnout and offer unique perspectives from female and young nephrologists.

The important and diverse roles of the dialysis facility medical director will also be addressed. What are the keys to effective leadership of the kidney care team? How can the medical director insure patient safety, manage difficult patients, and maximize patient engagement in their care? These questions will be answered to assist nephrologists with fulfilling their responsibilities as medical directors.

The last day of the meeting has a more clinical focus where speakers will review lessons learned from treating Ebola-related acute kidney injury, share what is new (and on the not-too-distant horizon) that may revolutionize vascular access care, and present the most important clinical trials and research that impacted nephrology patient care in 2014. The concluding session will provide attendees with the first results from a powerful, new data collaboration in ESRD patient care – the PEER Kidney Care Initiative.

The RPA annual meeting provides nephrologists and practice administrators an opportunity to exchange ideas for improving care delivery and patient outcomes, obtain solutions to practice challenges, and gain practical tools and resources to implement to enhance practice performance. It is critical for nephrology practitioners to attend to better understand the environmental changes affecting the specialty and learn how to succeed within the regulatory and legislative parameters.


Special pre-conference RPA workshops

For those who come one day early, the RPA is hosting three pre-Conference workshops.

  • A Maintenance of Certification Learning Session will provide participants with 10 points in ABIM’s Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge (Part II) requirement.
  • RPA is also holding its annual workshop for renal fellows. Transitioning from Training to Practice will equip fellows with knowledge about practice structure, employment models, contracts, coding and billing requirements – and other topics to prepare them to find the right practice situation in which to begin their career. This workshop is free for fellows and limited travel grants are available.
  • Fundamentals of Nephrology Coding and Billing will provide attendees with a full day of nephrology specific coding information geared to administrators, billing staff, and practitioners who must comply with complex coding questions on a daily basis.

The workshops will be held on March 19.