Mar 22, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios Event: Leaders talk ways to improve kidney disease care

Axios’ Tina Reed in conversation with American Kidney Fund president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton. Photo: Moe Thajib for Axios

Axios' Tina Reed in conversation with American Kidney Fund president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton. Photo: Moe Thajib for Axios

Axios hosted an event in Washington, D.C. featuring conversations with American Kidney Fund president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) on health care and policy practices to improve access and affordability of care for kidney disease and alleviate the burden on a growing number of dialysis patients.

Why it matters: It can sometimes be difficult for patients to access and afford care for kidney disease or dialysis treatment, particularly people who live in health care deserts or areas where specialty providers are hard to come by.

This event was sponsored by the Kidney Care Access Coalition.

What they're saying: "Of the 37 million who have kidney disease, probably 90% of them don't know it," Burton said. "So there's an access issue because in order to seek care, to do something about your issue, you've got to be aware of it."

  • Burton also called for more innovations to improve treatments for kidney disease. "It's almost as if the kidney world has stood still with regard to innovations. Other patients and other chronic disease states have new, better therapies and kidney patients deserve that and we've got to work harder to get that for them," Burton said.

Rep. Kelly spoke about his work as a lead sponsor of the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, a bipartisan bill that was reintroduced this Congress.

  • "This is an issue that talks about the possibilities of making sure that we can keep our citizens healthy, and we have the ability to do it," Rep. Kelly said. "I think once you realize that, it's no longer a red issue or a blue issue, it's just a good issue."

Sponsored content:

In a View from the Top sponsored segment, Kidney Care Access Coalition senior advisors Kevin Brady and Cedric Richmond voiced concern that a Supreme Court ruling that changed rules for employer-sponsored health insurance plans would limit outpatient dialysis coverage.

  • "We had long standing practice … which is making sure that those who need treatment could stay on their insurance plan and that they had a long transition to then decide whether they wanted to go to Medicare or whether they wanted to stay on their private insurance. What that Supreme Court decision did was take that option away," Richmond said.
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