Welcome to the Chronic Kidney Disease Newsletter. If you are person with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis or helping care for someone who is, this newsletter was created for you! The content is meant to keep you and/or a family member up to date on the latest information to help you manage your health now or in the near future in consultation with your physician.
In this month’s CKD Insider: Latest News for Kidney Transplant Recipients, NKF-ASN Task Force activity update, New health management collaboration, COVID-19 reminder and the Fun Tip of the Day!
BIG News for Transplant Recipients
The US Congress just passed the "Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act"! What does this mean for you? If you are a transplant recipient or considering a transplant, Medicare will now cover the medication needed following a transplant indefinitely, previously they would only cover the medication for 3 years following surgery leaving the recipient with the challenge of finding the money to pay for these expensive lifesaving medications.
Congratulations and a BIG THANK YOU to the NKF, ASN and tireless other advocates who continually pushed to help get legislation created and passed in congress.For all of you who lent your voice to the cause or are considering using your voice in the future – this really shows what happens when you speak out!
If you want to thank Congress you can email them here.
Let your Voice be heard!
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) have created the NKF-ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases. The task force is currently deliberating on its’ charge to "ensure that GFR estimation equations provide an unbiased assessment of kidney function so that patients, clinicians, laboratories, and public health officials can make informed decisions to ensure equity and personalized care for patients with kidney diseases."
The task force would like to hear from you during the open forums they are having in January. Please register here before Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EST to register for one of the open forums and let your voice be heard!
The task force will issue its interim report in January 2021 and its final report in spring 2021.
FUN TIPS OF THE DAY
Looking to get out and find some holiday cheer? Google "Christmas lights celebration near me" and find drive by spots near you to see all the festive colorful decorations! All while playing the holiday music of your choice!
Moments that capture it all! Interested in looking at 2020 from the rear view mirror? Check out the images below which will all hopefully be but a memory soon!
· Nature magazines best science images from 2020
· Getty images’ 2020 year in review
Improved Support for those living with CKD
Independence Blue Cross collaborates with Strive Health on late-stage kidney disease care management program
What it is: New Kidney Disease Care Management Program developed through collaboration between that Independence Blue Cross and Strive Health. The goal of this program which is to launch on Jan 1 is to improve care for members living with late-stage chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by assisting with disease and care management and reducing unnecessary hospital stays. "Strive Health works with patients' primary care physicians and nephrologists to manage their care while providing access to predictive analytics, telehealth services and education on home dialysis options."
Why it’s important to you: If you have Independence Blue Cross health insurance this program could be a huge help in maintaining a healthy life while on dialysis for you or your family member as they will provide additional resources and support. If you don't have Independence Blue Cross be sure to check with your insurance company to see if they are implementing a similar program near you!
Reference: Independence Blue Cross and Strive Health Launch New Kidney Disease Care Management Program
COVID-19 Fatigue & What to do about it!
COVID quarantine fatigue getting you down? You are not alone. It is a challenge for many of us being separated from loved ones, and not having the social time with friends we are used to. If you are feeling like you want to do something that you know is against your best interests and not a safe way to protect yourself, please don’t! Multiple studies (1,2) have shown a strong association between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and COVID-19 hospitalization with adverse outcomes. Use extreme caution this holiday season to protect your loved ones and yourself! Follow the recommendations: Wear a mask (3 ply surgical mask if possible), wash your hands regularly, stay as far away (6ft +) as you can from non-members of your household. We have made it this far, we must keep up the fight and help keep each other healthy until we get to the other side of this pandemic.
Also know that NKF is advocating for people with CKD to get early access to vaccines, you can read their Statement on Kidney Patient Prioritization for COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics here.
1.Chronic kidney disease a leading risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and hospitalization, study shows
2.EHR data show kidney disease is strongest risk factor for COVID-19 hospitalizations
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