Trump unveils sweeping goals on kidney disease

Lauren Clason, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma will also be reviewing requirements for organ procurement organizations.

Trump's speech expanded on a host of initiatives already underway within the administration. CMS is currently testing out a payment model to hold providers accountable for clinical outcomes in return for a portion of savings achieved through the program -- roughly $2,000 per kidney patient in 2015. Azar has also previously said the department was looking at ways to modernize payments for patients in the earlier stages of kidney disease.

The National Institutes of Health, meanwhile, is set to begin studying individual variants of the disease as part of its Kidney Precision Medicine Project. A separate study will focus on the APOL1 gene, which frequently complicates transplants for African American patients.

Last year, HHS launched a two-phase competition called KidneyX to spur innovation in dialysis. Fifteen winners announced in April presented ideas to modernize treatments, and contestants in the second stage will be asked to design prototypes. The contest is expected to dole out a total of $2.6 million in prize money when it wraps in January 2020.

CMS is also proposing to increase a bonus payment for certain innovative technologies, which could include some treatments or devices stemming from the KidneyX competition.


"For decades, across all of American health care and kidney care in particular, the focus has been on paying for procedures rather than paying for good outcomes," Azar said on a call with reporters. "Under the president's leadership, we're working to flip that around."

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