NKF Advocacy COVID-19 Response

Learn about how we're engaging with policymakers to raise the priorities of kidney patients living on the front lines of the spread of coronavirus.

NKF Government Relations is working to bring the patient's voice to the Administration's response to the threat of COVID-19. Read on to learn about how we're engaging with policymakers to raise the priorities of kidney patients living on the front lines of the spread of coronavirus.

7/31/20 — The National Kidney Foundation, with the Minnesota Patient Advocacy Coalition, wrote to urge the Blue Ribbon Commission to remember the needs and interests of Minnesota's patients in all five of the Commission's charges, including improve access to health and human services programs to address geographic, racial, and ethnic disparities, among others. Read the letter here.

7/10/20 — NKF joined with 39 other organizations in urging congressional leadership to ensure the needs of immunocompromised Americans are adequately addressed as it considers legislation to help states resume some level of pre-pandemic activity, including opening of businesses and returning to school and work. Read the letter here.

7/9/20 — NKF hosted a briefing for Pennsylvania state legislators with Dr. Paul Palevsky, State Senator Lindsey Williams (D-38th) and State Representative Tarah Toohil (R-116th) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Pennsylvania, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

7/7/2020 — NKF submitted comments to CMS on its second set of regulatory proposals intended to give the health system the flexibilities needed to respond to COVID-19. Read the comments here.

7/1/20 — NKF joined with nearly 350 organizations in urging Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to affirm the invaluable role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and resist any efforts that would undermine its mission as the federal government responds to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read the letter here.

6/30/20 — NKF hosted a briefing for Colorado state legislators with Dr. Alex Wiseman, Dr. Giridhar Vedula, State Sen. Dennis Hisey (R-2nd) and State Rep. Janet Buckner (D-40th) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Colorado, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

6/29/20 — NKF joined with a broad coalition of public health advocacy groups in urging congressional leadership to increase COVID-19 testing in the country’s most vulnerable communities, which have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the letter here.

6/24/20 — NKF hosted a briefing for Maryland state legislators with Dr. Donna Hanes, Dr. Gretchen Brandt, Delegate Eric Luedtke (D-14th) and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-21st) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Maryland, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

6/17/20 — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) submitted comments to the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees in response to legislative hearings on health care inequality, racial and ethnic disparities, and how COVID-19 has amplified both. NKF recommended several steps to address the needs of kidney patients who are also persons of color. Read the letter here.

6/16/20 — NKF hosted a briefing for Virginia state legislators with Dr. Todd Gehr and Dr. Gaurav Gupta to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Virginia, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

6/1/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on flexibilities implemented to protect patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. NKF's comments highlighted the unique needs of patients with CKD and ESRD, those who have received transplants, and living donors. Read the letter here.

5/27/2020 — On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, NKF and the NAACP presented a virtual congressional briefing on Kidneys and COVID-19: Navigating Health Disparities in Minority Communities.

CLICK HERE to watch the recording

CLICK HERE to view the slide deck

Please reach out to Lauren Drew (lauren.drew@kidney.org) with any questions.

5/21/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) send a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services urging the Administration to address the unique needs of kidney patients as the country reopens. NKF asked the Administration to implement a set of recommendations regarding COVID-19 testing, supplies and vaccination, dialysis, elective surgeries, organ donation, transplantation, and drug supplies. Read the letter here.

5/21/2020 — NKF hosted a briefing for New York state legislators with Dr. Joe Vassalotti and State Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-33rd) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in New York, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

5/20/2020 — NKF hosted a briefing for Connecticut state legislators with Dr. Sankar Niranjan and State Sen. Derek Slap (D-5th) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Connecticut, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

5/19/2020 — NKF hosted a briefing for New Jersey state legislators with Dr. Joe Vassalotti and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-7th) to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in New Jersey, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

5/15/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with 46 other organizations in urging Department of Health and Human Services leadership to issue additional guidance to make clear that state emergency triage guidance that would limit or restrict access to life-saving care for certain patients with underlying conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic violate federal antidiscrimination laws. Read the letter here.

5/8/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with 27 other organizations in urging Senate leadership to provide emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases as well as KidneyX to meet the unique challenges facing people with kidney diseases in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and for future crises. Read the letter here.

4/28/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation members of the Kidney Care Partners community in urging House leadership to appropriate emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease to study the impact of COVID-19 on patients with Chronic Kidney Diseases as well as End State Renal Disease, and to obtain a better understanding of how COVID-19 leads to Acute Kidney Injury. Read the letter here.

4/24/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with 28 other organizations in a statement offering strong support for H.R. 6514, the Worker Health Coverage Protect Act, which would provide premium assistance for COBRA continuation coverage and furloughed continuation coverage for individuals and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the statement here.

4/22/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressing concern over reported shortages of dialysis equipment, supplies, and trained dialysis care team staff needed to treat COVID-19 patients experiencing Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), and to offer suggestions and solutions on how to address these shortages. Read the letter here.

4/21/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation wrote to the Medicare contractors responsible for processing Part B claims requesting that they pay for greater-than-30-day supplies of immunosuppressive drugs and non-emergency ambulance transport for dialysis patients who are Covid-19 positive or suspected to have it. Read the series of letters below.

4/19/2020 — NKF hosted a briefing for Ohio state legislators with Dr. Aparna Padiyar to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting kidney patients in Ohio, and how legislators can help and engage with the kidney community. Click to watch the webinar.

4/14/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with 32 other organizations in urging congressional leadership to enact legislation that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. Read the letter here.

4/9/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with 156 other organizations in urging congressional leadership to expand eligibility for the paid family and medical leave program to include individuals determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be at high risk for adverse complications from COVID-19, as well as working members of their households. Read the letter here.

4/2/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation sent an open letter addressed to health systems across the country expressing NKF’s dismay at policies that would deny dialysis patients with permanent kidney failure access to ICUs in a crude attempt to optimize hospital resources during the Covid-19 outbreak. Read the letter here.

3/31/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation joined with the American Society of Nephrology to request that FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security release additional PPE from the national stockpile and ensure these supplies are directed to kidney patients and the professionals that care for them. Read the comments here.

3/18/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation and 211 other organizations submitted a letter to Congressional leaders requesting they include provisions regarding access to medications and supplies for people of all ages in the third COVID-19 legislative package. Read the letter here.

3/18/2020 — The National Kidney Foundation sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting the Department clarify that organ recovery, transplant, and vascular access surgeries be considered essential procedures that can continue during the outbreak at a hospital's discretion. Read the comments here