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While addressing kidney patients and advocates with the National Kidney Foundation, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar outlined an ambitious effort to move the treatment of end stage renal disease (ESRD) to more home dialysis therapy and value based care, while increasing efforts to treat CKD earlier in the disease process.
Dr. Frank Maddux, Chief Medical Officer for Fresenius Medical Care, led a series of presentations and panel discussion around value based care and home treatments for a physician audience at a recent Medical Office Live event. It was a timely and important discussion in the wake of the Secretary’s comments only days before.
“While peritoneal dialysis or home hemo may not be possible for absolutely everyone, they can often be more convenient, better for patients’ independence and self-sufficiency, and better for their physical health,” said Secretary Azar, whose father lived with kidney failure by doing his own peritoneal dialysis at night before receiving a transplant.
Secretary Azar also emphasized the need to expand proven value based models of care that have enabled providers to develop more coordinated and comprehensive care programs. With these programs, we have become the largest provider of value based care services for ESRD in the country. In his speech, he specifically cited those efforts for saving “almost $2,000 per patient per year in Medicare costs, reducing hospitalizations while maintaining quality of care.”
“We support Secretary Azar’s commitment to improving kidney health and transforming the way that care is delivered,” said Bill Valle, CEO of FMCNA. “That is why we have long been determined to advance the expansion of value based care, develop and invest in new innovations and expand access to home dialysis therapies.”
According to Secretary Azar, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is now looking to expand this value based care program beyond patients with ESRD to include stage 4 kidney disease. This effort will work to identify CKD earlier in the disease state in order to prevent or delay kidney failure, giving patients more time to prepare and make good choices for treatment including transplant and home therapies.
“We want to empower people living with kidney disease to thrive and succeed with treatment options that best fit their lifestyle, while continuing to support education and innovation that slows the progression of the disease,” said Valle. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Administration to address the factors that drive the uptick in new ESRD cases and the corresponding need for alternative care models including transplant, transitional care and home care.”