New Diagnosis Codes for Chronic Kidney Disease to be Based on National Kidney Foundation's KDOQI Guidelines

K/DOQINew York, NY (May 31, 2005) - Expanded codes and improved terminology will lead to better care of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). That is the opinion of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), which developed the staging system for CKD soon to be included in the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). Beginning October 1, 2005, the new codes will allow medical professionals to clearly note the stage of kidney disease they diagnose and treat.

The staging system was developed by NKF through its Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI). Its 2002 clinical practice guideline on CKD classification defined CKD according to objective criteria irrespective of cause and classified it into five distinct stages based on the level of kidney function. These stages were used by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in this revision of the ICD-9-CM codes. It will now be easier for physicians to bill, keep data and plan treatment based on stage of disease.

“Until now, the majority of CKD patients were lumped into the chronic renal failure category, which was not very well defined. CKD has five stages, based on estimates of glomerular filtration rate, and the treatment plan for each of these stages becomes more detailed and specific as the disease progresses,” said David Warnock, M.D., president of the NKF. “We are optimistic that by using the NKF-KDOQI guidelines in conjunction with the revised codes, medical professionals will be able to detect and treat CKD in their patients earlier, the government will glean new information about the estimated 20 million people with CKD and related health problems such as diabetes, anemia and heart disease, and most importantly, the overall outcome of our patients with CKD will be optimal.”

The change made by the NCHS resulted from a collaboration that included the NKF and the Renal Physicians Association. ICD-9-CM codes and classifies morbidity data from inpatient and outpatient records, physician offices, and most NCHS surveys. NCHS serves as the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for the Family of International Classifications of North America. It is responsible for coordination of all official disease classification activities in the U.S. relating to the ICD and its use, interpretation, and periodic revision.

Other benefits of this revision of the ICD-9-CM codes include the ability to identify CKD patients who are also kidney transplant recipients, the ability to link specific treatments to the appropriate CKD stage, and ultimately, through enhanced data collection, the ability to assess the quality of care delivered and progress made toward achieving Healthy People 2010 goals.

For more information about the new codes, contact

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation is a major voluntary health organization that seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.