National Kidney Foundation and Baxter Partner To Promote Education for Pre-Dialysis Patients

New York, NY (April 19, 2010) — In order to better educate chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients about their treatment options, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced today a new "Partnership in Education" with Baxter International Inc., focusing on the distribution of materials for patients that were developed as part of the foundation's Your Treatment, Your Choice program.

The newly-launched Your Treatment, Your Choice program meets Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines for reimbursement under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), and is provided free of charge to qualified professionals, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists.

More than 26 million Americans have CKD and millions more are at risk. Yet most are unaware they have it and are unfamiliar with the risk factors, consequences and treatment options, according to the NKF.

Your Treatment, Your Choice offers a comprehensive adult education approach to learning about CKD and treatment options to enable patients to make informed decisions about their care. The program provides all the materials needed by clinicians to lead six, one-hour classes, including an implementation guide, detailed lesson plans and outcomes data collection tools. Additionally, a variety of practical materials to motivate the patient to reinforce learning, such as "Check Yourself!" word games, puzzles, quizzes, "Take Home" handouts and educational checklists are included.

"People with CKD can live longer, healthier lives if they have the information to make their own treatment choices," says Bryan Becker, MD, NKF President. "This partnership with Baxter will give qualified presenters a 'jump start' in using the new NKF program by providing them with a select number of program handouts for their initial series of classes."

Baxter, NKF's "Partner in Education," helped to fund the printing and packaging of these educational materials. The company will distribute the packaged materials to clinicians around the country who are registered to use the NKF program.

"These materials can help clinicians provide educational sessions for patients with chronic kidney disease, and should help patients understand their treatment options and participate in better management of their own care," said James Sloand, M.D., senior medical director of Baxter's North American Renal business. "Such education can empower people to take measures to slow the progression of their kidney failure, to prevent complications seen with chronic kidney disease, and to proactively work with their physicians in determining which kidney replacement therapy is best suited to their health and lifestyle."

Clinicians can register for the program, and patients can find physicians who are offering kidney disease education, at the NKF's web site, www.kidney.org.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of kidney and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of patients and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. To learn more visit www.kidney.org.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.