The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) made many strides this year to ensure kidney patients perspectives were considered and included in policy decisions. We also began an important new initiative to change the way Medicare pays primary care practitioners and nephrologists for detecting and managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) to ensure that future patients never have to ask the question “Why did my doctor not tell me I had kidney disease before my kidneys failed?” Below are some brief highlights from 2015:
1. Hosted our 2nd annual Kidney Patient Summit. The Summit brought
Senator Grassley putting on the NKF pin!
together six patient advocacy organizations and 100 kidney patients, family members, and living organ donors to visit 150 Congressional offices during National Kidney Month in March to advocate for improvements in kidney care. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institutes for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), served as keynote for the event. Senator Chuck Grassley showed his support to fight kidney disease by wearing our kidney logo pin!
2. Launched a Kidney Patient Advocacy and Engagement Leadership Committee called the Kidney Action Committee (KAC). These 75 individuals from 43 states are all connected to kidney disease. The group consists of early stage kidney disease patients, dialysis patients (in-center, home hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis), kidney transplant recipients, living kidney donors, and family/caregivers of kidney patients. KAC members are leading NKF’s efforts to ensure all kidney patients’ voices and perspectives are included in the development and implementation of public policy, patient education and kidney disease research.
3. United with other patient and professional stakeholders to secure increases in NIDDK funding. Under an agreement reached by House and Senate leaders, the NIDDK will receive $1.97 billion in Fiscal Year 2016, $68.7 million above Fiscal Year 15 and $30.2 million above the President’s request. Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be $32 billion, representing a $2 billion increase. Kidney Action Committee Patient Liaisons garnered the attention of their Members of Congress to support the increased funding requests by publishing 13 Letters to the Editor in the states of AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, GA, LA, ND, NE, VA.