NKF Statement on New Legislation for Dialysis Innovation

Washington, DC - May 15, 2019 - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) supports new legislation to help spur innovation in dialysis. The Patient Access to ESRD New Innovative Devices Act (H.R. 2710), introduced by Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), calls for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make changes to the Medicare payment for dialysis to allow a pathway for innovation in new medical devices that improve dialysis treatment and outcomes.
Innovations in renal replacement therapy to improve patient outcomes and quality of life are critical and the National Kidney Foundation sincerely thanks Representative Davis and Representative Hollingsworth for their leadership on this issue. This legislation is an important step towards re-energizing innovation in dialysis, which has been nearly stagnant for many years. 
More than 726,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Approximately 500,000 ESRD patients receive dialysis at least three times per week to replace kidney function.  The National Kidney Foundation developed the first evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for dialysis patient care, the Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (DOQI) 21 years ago stimulating improvements in care and outcomes research that have reduced the mortality rate for dialysis patients by over 26%.    
Recognizing the need to treat kidney disease earlier to improve outcomes, not just for dialysis patients, but for all patients with kidney disease, DOQI was soon expanded to the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI). To date, NKF has published 18 sets of KDOQI guidelines addressing early identification, staging/classification, prevention and management of kidney disease and related conditions, as well as recommendations for the optimization of renal replacement therapy.
In addition to our clinical practice guideline work, removing barriers to home dialysis is a major focus for NKF. The foundation recently hosted a Conference on Home Dialysis which brought together leading kidney professionals, patients and caregivers, industry representatives and government officials to launch the Home Dialysis Quality Initiative, a major multi-disciplinary effort aimed at overcoming barriers to getting, or keeping, patients on home dialysis, including overcoming lack of training and support for care partners.  
About Kidney Disease
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.  People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.