American Kidney Fund Applauds Trump Administration for Making Kidney Disease a National Health Priority


ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 10, 2019)—The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends the President and the Department of Health and Human Services for meaningfully addressing the epidemic of kidney disease— the fastest-growing noncommunicable disease in America. The strategies outlined today have potential to keep the 37 million Americans with chronic kidney disease off dialysis longer, make significantly more transplants available, and prevent more people from ever developing kidney disease in the first place.

“Every month, 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney failure,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “AKF has long advocated that our nation should treat kidney disease as a public health crisis, and today we are gratified that the Administration is releasing a policy platform that will make a real difference in the lives of Americans affected by this disease. AKF is encouraged to continue our fight against this deadly disease with our spectrum of programs supporting patients from prevention through transplant.”
Since 2000, there has been an 86% increase in the number of Americans with kidney failure. This can be attributed to kidney disease having no symptoms until the late stages. 96% of people with early kidney disease are unaware they have it. Early detection and treatment can slow or stop its progression.
By finding people with kidney disease early, we not only preserve their health, we buy them much needed time to make the treatment decisions that are best for them. AKF has screened more than 150,000 people for kidney disease, and we welcome the Administration’s partnership in identifying chronic kidney disease early in primary care settings.
It is also extremely encouraging that the Administration is tackling the kidney shortage. Nearly 97,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list today, but in 2018 fewer than 22,000 kidney transplants were performed because there were not enough organs for all. People who choose to become living donors need support. In addition to new regulations that allow reimbursement of lost wages and other expenses for living donors, Congress must pass the Living Donor Protection Act to protect living donors from insurance discrimination and ensure their jobs are protected. In 2019 AKF has worked to introduce the Living Donor Protection Act in 14 states, 6 of which have signed it into law.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling low-income U.S. dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

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