Policy and Legislation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) helps to shape public policy on behalf of individuals at all stages of kidney disease including those with kidney disease stages 1-4 and those with kidney failure (stage 5) who require dialysis or a transplant. We work with Congress and federal agencies, as well as with state governments to further legislation and regulations that improve the care and quality of life for people with kidney disease.

For more information on the National Kidney Foundation’s public policy priorities, read this Policy BluePrint on how NKF will improve kidney health, reduce demand of kidney transplants and dialysis, and increase the supply of kidneys available for transplant.

Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative

On July 10, 2019, the administration launched the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative. Learn more about the initiative, how NKF worked to shape the initiative's policy priorities and strategy, and how we're continuing to engage.

Azar Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative

Kidney Disease Awareness and Early Detection

1 in 3 (73 million) Americans are at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 37 million have CKD, but most are unaware.  Early detection and intervention of kidney disease can slow progression and help people avoid kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.  It is essential that health care providers know when their patients have CKD and that patients understand they have it and what precautions they can take.

NKF Screening for kidney disease photo

Research to Improve Kidney Care

CKD affects millions of Americans and the government spends billions of dollars caring for individuals with kidney disease.  Greater investment in kidney disease research can help answer questions needed to foster new treatments and may also encourage greater efforts to identify kidney disease early to slow or stop its progression.

NKF Researcher Photo

The Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplaces

Significant changes to health care access, financing, and the delivery of care have occurred with the enactment of health reform legislation in March 2010. Sometimes called Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides better access to care for people with kidney disease by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions and waiting periods, and establishing new health insurance options for those without insurance through state Medicaid expansion and the new health insurance marketplaces. The law also impacts private insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid options for kidney patients. 

health insurance file

Transplantation Access and Quality

NKF is leading the charge to remove barriers and improve access to a kidney transplant.  While there are over 636,000 Americans with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) less than 16,000 individuals receive a kidney transplant each year.  More needs to be done to encourage organ donation and remove barriers to transplantation.

wife husband kidney donor photo

Dialysis Access and Quality

NKF is a champion for dialysis patients’ continued access to patient-centered, high quality, and affordable dialysis care.

Dialysis and Nurse Practitioner

Patient Engagement

NKF and its advocates are shaping patient engagement by promoting patient-centered care and empowerment by the Federal, state, and local government, as well as by other non-governmental organizations.

Dialysis and Nurse Practitioner