A sweeping new report assessing chronic kidney disease in the United States offers startling statistics about a condition that affects almost 14 percent of the U.S. population and costs billions in Medicare spending each year. “This report is a one-stop shop to try to understand the prevalence of kidney disease, how it’s being treated and how the burden affects various populations,” says researcher Rajesh Balkrishnan, PhD, of the UVA School of Medicine, who led the report’s analysis of prescription drug use and cost.
The massive, two-volume U.S. Renal Data System report looks at both chronic kidney disease — the loss of kidney function over time — and potentially deadly kidney failure, known as end-stage renal disease. It has been published as a special edition online by the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and is also available at the U.S. Renal Data System site.
A sample of the findings: In 2013, Medicare spending for end-stage renal disease increased to $31 billion, in addition to $50 billion spent on chronic kidney disease among those 65 and older.
Balkrishnan hopes the report will inform national healthcare policy and improve the quality of care for patients with kidney disease. “Our goal is to provide a snapshot view of the major issues in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S.,” Balkrishnan said. “There are definitely gaps there in the treatment of many patients, which can be improved upon.”
Classes On Kidney Health
To help increase awareness about ways to prevent kidney disease, UVA Kidney Center is hosting a series of free classes to educate the public about kidney health. “Taking Care of Kidneys” will be led by Thessa Churillo, RD, CSR, and David Simmons, MSN, RN, CNN. The session is open to both current patients and the general public. Attendees will learn about how kidneys function, risk factors and symptoms of kidney disease, and treatment strategies.
When: Friday, May 13
Where: 1300 Jefferson Park Avenue, Room 5101
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Call 434.924.1984 for more information.