October 5, 2021
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Innovation in Renal Care
One of the six winners of $650,000 from KidneyX is an implantable bioartificial kidney developed by scientists from the University of California at San Francisco. The Kidney Project's prototype combines two essential functions of an artificial kidney, the bioreactor and the hemofilter, in a device about the size of a smartphone and it runs on blood pressure alone.
Full Story: Good News Network (9/28) 
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An implantable bio-artificial device, a lightweight external device and genetically engineered pig kidneys were among the first-phase winners in the KidneyX Artificial Kidney Prize competition, which was set up to produce an alternative to dialysis and conventional kidney transplants. In this article, John Kosowatz takes a closer look at some of these options and notes the prize is intended to highlight progress in the field and spur more funding for promising solutions.
Full Story: ASME (9/21) 
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Research News
Results of a new study found that higher-rated dialysis facilities had a 47% increased likelihood of waitlisting patients with end-stage renal disease, based on data published in the JAMA Network Open. The study focused on analyzing possible links between facility, patient and waitlisting characteristics, and their Dialysis Facility Compare ratings.
Full Story: News Medical (9/24) 
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Adults with chronic kidney disease and resistant hypertension were able to prolong their use of spironolactone by also using patiromer for 12 weeks whether they have diabetes or not, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Based on data from 295 patients, automated office blood pressure significantly decreased for patients who took spironolactone with patiromer or a placebo.
Full Story: Medical Dialogues (9/26) 
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Research published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions showed that patients with chronic kidney disease and severe aortic stenosis were likely to see similar outcomes whether they had surgical aortic valve replacement or transcatheter aortic valve replacement with third-generation valves. The study also found that SAVR and TAVR patients had a similar level of risk for progression to hemodialysis.
Full Story: Cardiovascular Business online (9/28) 
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Algorithms that consider race when assessing kidney function can underestimate kidney disease severity in Black patients and may result in denial of needed specialty care or transplants, according to a task force report published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The task force recommends using a new calculation for estimated glomerular filtration rate that is based on recalculated data from a wide, diverse patient pool, and says the equation should be combined with testing for cystatin C for better accuracy.
Full Story: STAT (tiered subscription model) (9/23) 
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Findings from a study reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases found that 81.5% of patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing hemodialysis who have atrial fibrillation did not start any anticoagulant treatment within a month of their diagnosis. Data also indicated a prevalence of off-label underdosing of the drug apixaban.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (9/29) 
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Policy Watch
The CMS has released an interim final rule meant to address unexpected medical bills for out-of-network care by allowing health insurers and health care providers to negotiate payment disputes for 30 days, then seek third-party, independent arbitration if they fail to reach a deal. AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles praised the rule, saying it "signals a strong commitment to consumer affordability and lower health care spending through an independent dispute resolution process that should encourage more providers to join health plan networks."
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (10/1),  The New York Times (10/1) 
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Opinion, Commentary and Analysis
An analysis of data from Medicare and the Federal Trade Commission between 1996 to 2017 led Thomas Wollmann to develop a structural model that can evaluate the impact of over 2,000 unreported facility acquisitions, known as stealth consolidations, during that period and found that since these deals were not required premerger notification these resulted in a 1.8% decline in survival rates and a 3.6% rise in hospitalization rates among patients with end-stage renal disease. "If you create a monopoly and the price is fixed, quality typically goes down. In the health-care sector, if you have very sick patients, that's not only going to mean more trips to the hospital, but also, unfortunately, it's going to mean people die," Wollman said.
Full Story: Chicago Booth Review (University of Chicago) (10/4) 
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Patient Perspective
AKF stated in its 2021 Living Donor Protection Report Card that Michigan scores low in terms of legislative support for the needs and interests of donors. The state doesn't require job-protected leave from employers, it has no tax credits for living donors, and it has no legislation preventing insurers from discriminating against them.
Full Story: MLive (Michigan) (tiered subscription model) (10/5) 
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Heather Eck decided to the call the number of a man she saw on TV during a hockey game holding a sign that said he needed a kidney, and that call led to her donating one of her kidneys to George Dete, who has been on the transplant waiting list since February 2017. "The closer I got to getting the results, the more determined I was to donate my kidney to George," Eck said, whose father had entered a "paired exchange program" so that his brother could get a donor kidney in exchange for his donation to someone else.
Full Story: NorthcentralPA (Williamsport, Pa.) (10/5) 
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Renal Industry News
AKF responded to a recent NKF/ASN Task Force report with a statement of support for eliminating race from the process of glomerular filtration rate estimation. "A crucial next step will be to develop comprehensive transition and education materials for patients about the new GFR equation and its impact on chronic kidney disease care," AKF said in its statement.
Full Story: American Kidney Fund (10/5) 
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Fresenius Medical Care North America has appointed three individuals to key leadership positions: Kathleen Belmonte is now senior vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer for Fresenius Kidney Care, Dr. Benjamin Hippen was named senior vice president and head of transplant medicine for its global medical office, and Shelly Nash was promoted as FMCNA's senior vice president and chief medical information officer.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (9/29) 
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News from the American Kidney Fund
Tell your patients about AKF's post-transplant testing program
AKF is providing financial assistance to cover innovative new cell-free DNA blood tests that offer ongoing tracking of the health of a transplanted kidney and look for kidney injury or rejection without the need for a kidney biopsy. If you have patients who would benefit from these tests, please share our flyer with them. They can also fill out our form to learn more, and an AKF staff member will reach out them with more information about the program and help them apply. Learn more.
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Gout resources for health professionals - gout telehealth video now available
One in 10 people with kidney disease has gout, and an even higher percentage of people with gout have kidney disease. If your patients have either condition, it's important to talk to them about preventing and managing the other. Check out AKF's resources from our multi-award winning Goutful education campaign, including a newly-released video of tips for patients with gout about preparing for a telehealth visit. Goutful has additional videos, as well as guides, booklets and engagement tools available to help you get the conversation started with your patients. Learn more at KidneyFund.org/gout. Educational content made possible by Horizon Therapeutics.
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One of the greatest things you have in life is that no one has the authority to tell you what you want to be.
Jaime Escalante,
educator
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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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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