Letter from the Director of Government Relations
CMS Finalizes Decision on Anemia Drug Use by Kidney Patients
AKF Hosts Kidney Action Day in Washington
CMS to Make Medicare Data Publicly Available
AKF Submits Comments on Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Proposed Rule
AKF President and CEO Meets with New Kidney Caucus Leadership
We Want Your Feedback
Thank you for your commitment to the American Kidney Fund’s Advocacy Network. As an AKF Advocate, you have the opportunity to join with others to make a difference in the lives of all kidney patients.
The American Kidney Fund advocates for policies to improve the health of millions of Americans and their families who are living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease. Keeping policymakers and regulators informed is an important aspect of the fight against kidney disease.
With the help of our dedicated advocates, the American Kidney Fund will have a strong voice on Capitol Hill and in Washington, D.C.
From all of us at AKF, thank you for your time and dedication!
On June 11, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) hosted its Kidney Action Day and Steps that Count walkathon at Nationals Park in Washington to raise awareness of kidney disease in the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area. The event featured the Steps that Count fundraising walk, free health screenings, healthy cooking and fitness demonstrations, and fun family activities.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) attended the event and presented remarks she entered into the Congressional Record urging residents to get screened for kidney disease.
Mayor Vincent Gray proclaimed June 11, 2011 as Kidney Awareness Day in the District of Columbia, and a representative from the Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Fitness delivered opening remarks and presented the Proclamation on his behalf.
For more information on dates and locations for Kidney Action Day and Steps that Count events in San Antonio, Houston and Atlanta, please visit www.stepsthatcount.org.
On June 3, the American Kidney Fund submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its Proposed Rule for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Read AKF’s comment letter.
ACOs were created as part of last year’s healthcare reform legislation to generate savings in Medicare. Under ACOs, doctors and hospitals will be given financial incentives to join together to better coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs that generate savings will be able to keep a portion of the money they save.
CMS has received considerable criticism from the medical community since it released its Proposed Rule. AKF and the nephrology community are particularly concerned that only primary care physicians will be able to participate in ACOs. AKF recommends that CMS implement a pilot program to allow dialysis facilities and nephrologists to establish integrated care models that improve quality and increase efficiencies for patient populations with kidney failure.
The public comment period for the Proposed Rule ended on June 6. AKF will continue to monitor this issue; CMS will offer further guidance in the coming months. The Affordable Care Act mandated that the first ACOs be operational by January 1, 2012.
In May, American Kidney Fund President and CEO LaVarne Burton met with the incoming leaders of the Congressional Kidney Caucus—Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania and Rep. John Fleming, M.D., of Louisiana—to discuss how AKF can work with the Caucus to raise awareness of kidney disease and improve prevention education.
Congressman Marino, incoming Co-Chair of the Caucus, is a two-time kidney cancer survivor and expressed interest in working with AKF on prevention education. Dr. Fleming, incoming Vice-Chair of the Caucus, is a family physician who has personally witnessed the growing prevalence of kidney disease and its leading causes among patients over the past few decades.
The American Kidney Fund looks forward to working with Reps. Marino and Fleming, and engaging the Kidney Caucus to promote kidney disease awareness among the Capitol Hill community. Click here for more information on the Congressional Kidney Caucus.
Do you want to know more about a particular federal regulation or piece of legislation? Do you have a story you would like to share about your fight with kidney disease? Let us know what information is helpful to you as a kidney patient, caregiver or volunteer.
Feel free to contact Michael Platt, Government Relations Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Government Relations team toll free at (800) 638-8299, and don’t forget to encourage your family and friends to sign up as AKF Advocates!