President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week to transform kidney care for over 37 million across the country suffering with kidney disease. According to his administration, this marks the first order of its kind since the ‘70s.
CNN advised that the executive order aims to enhance diagnosis, treatment, and detection via a public awareness campaign to help prevent people from suffering through kidney failure. As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 96 percent of those with mildly reduced kidney function or kidney damage don’t even know they have the condition. As such, when they aren’t aware of this until it hits critical stage and they are unable to take preventative or treatment steps, where a transplant or dialysis is needed. According to the POTUS, of the 100,000 American that begin dialysis annually, 50 percent pass away within a mere five years.
Among the goals this executive order has, one is to decrease the amount of end-stage kidney disease sufferers by 25 percent over the next decade.
Still, another is to enhance access to affordable options for those who have hit critical stages within the condition. This includes offering a new Medicare payment option that would help to encourage additional in-home care, versus treatment provided at dialysis centers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated it would like to see 80 percent of new patients in 2025 receiving either a transplant or dialysis at home. The current payment system for Medicare points to hemodialysis in the center as a default treatment, according to the Medicare & Medicaid Services, with a mere 12 percent of patients starting in-home treatments.
Those who turn to centers for treatments spend about 12 hours each week there, making it very challenging to keep a normal jobs. Past research has revealed that in-home options enhance the quality of life, gives patients a little more freedom, and decreases hospitalizations and overall costs.
Lastly, a third goal for the executive order is to increase kidney transplants as 2030 hits, by double. Trump stated there is close to 100,000 in the U.S. on a kidney transplant list, and kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in America.
With this new order comes new payment models to help with incentives to modernize treatment centers and the organ transplant system. It also calls upon Health and Human Services to enhance conditions for those living kidney donors, covering costs for lost wages and childcare. Right now, experts believe there are additional barriers when it comes to living donors, which include potentially losing life insurance or facing increased rates. These were not addressed during the event; however, a bill exists in Congress currently that would stop the denial around coverage or increasing premiums should a live donor want to donate their kidney.Advertisement