Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) were joined by Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA), John Lewis (D-GA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) in introducing the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S. 598/H.R. 1130) to improve the health of kidney patients. If passed, this bill would provide access to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for dialysis patients.
This bill would also enhance current research efforts related to chronic kidney disease (CKD) by:
- Requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to calculate the overall cost of CKD care, ensure that federal funding for CKD research is appropriate relative to the disease’s cost, and identify gaps in research;
- Requiring improved coordination among the various federal agencies conducting CKD research; and
- Ordering the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to conduct a study to better understand the progression of kidney disease and treatment of kidney failure in minority populations.
The legislation also contains additional provisions to stabilize dialysis funding. There are several technical fixes that would help to better align the payment rates with the cost of providing care. This legislation would require the federal government to make these corrections.
The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act actually includes a lot more to help kidney disease patients, but the only way that we can secure passage is if Members of Congress hear from you – their constituents.