AKF's COVID-19 emergency fund helps patients in need | AKF fellowship program gets $100K grant | Urinary proteomics may predict diabetic CKD progression
April 7, 2020
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Renal news roundup from the American Kidney FundSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Innovation in Renal Care
The first pool of money in the American Kidney Fund's COVID-19 emergency fund, created to help patients with low income who are on dialysis or who have had kidney transplants, was quickly allocated, but Akebia, Horizon and Natera provided additional donations, according to AKF President LaVarne Burton. About two-thirds of applicants for grants have indicated they needed money for food, 20% for transportation, and others for a variety of other needs including nutritional supplements, Burton said.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (4/3) 
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The Hearst Foundation made a $100,000 grant to the American Kidney Fund's Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship program, which AKF President LaVarne Burton said would inspire a "new generation of nephrologists to innovate how we prevent and treat kidney disease." The program offers postdoctoral students a two-year fellowship focused on preventing and researching kidney disease.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (4/2) 
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Research News
Future risk for progression in microalbuminuria and chronic kidney disease among adults with type 2 diabetes and preserved renal function was possible using a urinary proteomic risk classifier, according to a study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Based on data from 1,775 diabetes patients, the findings also revealed that among the trial cohort, 25% of those who took 25mg of spironolactone once a day during the mean follow-up period of 2.51 years developed microalbuminuria compared with 33% of those who took placebo, but those who took spironolactone had higher odds of experiencing events of plasma potassium concentrations of over 5.5 mmol/L.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/2) 
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A study involving 70 patients with chronic kidney disease and diabetes found that 64% of those who took veverimer had at least a 4 mEq/L increase or normalization of serum bicarbonate, compared with 38% of those on placebo, indicating veverimer as a better option for treating metabolic acidosis. The findings, presented at the virtual National Kidney Foundation meeting, also revealed that those who took veverimer experienced a 12.5-point improvement in physical functioning, compared with +0.3 for those who took placebo.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (3/28) 
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Researchers studied 533 youths and found that every 10% increase in systolic blood pressure raises the odds of left ventricular hypertrophy and was associated with a 1.2 times increased risk for end-stage kidney disease, but both discrimination for LVH and ESKD were poor. The findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also found that when adjusting for mean systolic BP, systolic BP load was not significantly associated with either ESKD or LHV, with similar findings for diastolic BP load.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (3/27) 
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Policy Watch
Vascular access placement for patients undergoing dialysis has been reclassified as an essential surgical procedure during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to updated CMS guidance. The CMS also is relaxing Medicare quality measures reporting requirements and expanding telehealth options for nephrologists who treat patients receiving in-center dialysis.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (3/27) 
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The $2 trillion pandemic stimulus package signed into law last month provides Medicare telehealth flexibility to kidney dialysis providers while expanding Medicare telehealth coverage and reimbursement. The legislation allocates $300 billion in direct payments to Americans, $100 billion for hospitals and $260 billion to expand the unemployment insurance program, among other provisions.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (3/27),  National Public Radio (3/27),  CNBC (3/28) 
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Opinion, Commentary and Analysis
After two patients who underwent dialysis at Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the center launched a three-part plan to continue dialysis, make science-based decisions and provide strong leadership, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Suzanne Watnick told the National Kidney Foundation 2020 Spring Clinical Meetings. Nicole Lurie, co-chair of the emergency preparedness committee of the American Society of Nephrology, said self-quarantine at home is not an option for patients who need dialysis to survive, so dialysis centers face a challenge in keeping staff from becoming infected and protecting non-infected patients.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (3/30),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/24) 
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Patient Perspective
A survey of patients with chronic kidney disease ages 55 or older found 90% knew dietary changes may reduce CKD complications and felt they could make necessary changes, and almost two-thirds wanted a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist and believed they could attend the extra appointment, researchers reported at the virtual National Kidney Foundation meeting. The survey found 44% of patients said they could easily afford to see an RDN, but many did not know about Medicare coverage for medical nutrition therapy for CKD.
Full Story: Renal and Urology News (3/28) 
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A national survey of people with chronic kidney disease found a desire to age where they live. In the poll of 2,750 patients and their caregivers, 82% wanted to age in place, and fewer than half said they would be able to achieve that goal realistically.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (3/24) 
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News from the American Kidney Fund
"I am actually tired of being hungry:" What we're hearing from kidney patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
As states and cities expand their emergency restrictions on businesses and individuals to slow the spread of COVID-19, Americans living with kidney failure are having to cope with disruptions to work, school, transportation and more, at the same time that they must continue receiving treatments and take measures to keep themselves safe from the coronavirus. We asked patients and their caregivers to tell us how they are being affected by the pandemic. Their responses give us a glimpse into the special challenges faced by those living with kidney failure, as well as their loved ones who care for them.
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Make an urgent donation to help vulnerable kidney patients
AKF's Coronavirus Emergency Fund is providing critically needed assistance to low-income patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency grant applications from low-income dialysis and post-transplant patients are far outpacing our ability to fund them -- as of this morning, more than 5,500 patients have applied for grants to help them pay for food, medical supplies, medicines and transportation. Your help is needed urgently. 100% of every donation will go directly to patients in need.
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The energy doesn't end at the hands. I want such intensity that it feels like light is streaming from every finger.
Bob Fosse,
dancer, choreographer, actor, theater and film director
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The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts. Through programs of prevention, early detection, financial support, disease management, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no nonprofit kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. AKF is one of the nation’s highest-rated nonprofits and spends 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs. Visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with AKF on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and LinkedIn.
AKF provides this news roundup as a service to the kidney community. The news reported in KidneyPro SmartBrief is not necessarily endorsed by the American Kidney Fund.
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