Early Diagnosis of Kidney Disease: Incentivizing Comprehensive Testing

January 13, 2023, 9:01am EST

Group of healthcare workers talking in hospital hallway

Quality measurement is a vital and dynamic tool used to evaluate and improve the performance of our healthcare system. Focus areas of evaluation include practitioners, patient experience, healthcare settings, processes of care, and healthcare outcomes. Historically, quality measurement in kidney disease has focused on dialysis, with little to no measures focusing on the identification and prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Kidney Health Evaluation for Patients with Diabetes

Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD, along with high blood pressure. Under the guidance of the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) and the CKDintercept (CKDi) primary care initiative, NKF has developed the Kidney Health Evaluation for Patients with Diabetes (KED) measure with the goal to drive earlier diagnosis and management of CKD in high-risk patients with diabetes. Incentivizing comprehensive testing will reduce the risk of kidney-related cardiovascular events and delay the progression to kidney failure.

That’s why we were heartened to see the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently adopt KED as a new quality measure for the Calendar Year 2023 Performance Period/2025 MIPS Payment Year and Future Years under the Quality Payment Program (QPP) 2023 Final Rule. 

Learn more about the top causes of kidney disease.

Why This Advocacy Matters

The Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Program is the largest quality payment program administered by CMS. The MIPS Program was designed by CMS to tie clinician payments to quality and cost-efficient care, drive improvement in care processes, and enhance health outcomes.

Why is this important? Results of a comprehensive kidney health evaluation provide physicians and patients with the structural information on which to base a patient-specific treatment and management plan that may include:

  • Additional testing
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Pharmacological treatment 
  • Referral to a nephrologist for further evaluation and co-management

What’s Next?

Future NKF quality initiatives will continue to be guided and developed by KDOQI to provide evidence-based recommendations to drive improvement in clinical practice for kidney patients. These efforts will ultimately improve health equity for all patients across the kidney care spectrum.

Advocates interested in shaping future KDOQI topics have the opportunity to provide direct feedback through our website.

NKF welcomes your insightful feedback and we look forward to hearing from you!   

Add Your Voice

More victories like the adoption of KED by CMS are possible with your help. We’ll show you how–just sign up to be an advocate and we will send you the materials to allow you quick, easy ways to have an impact!

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