Kidney Care Partners (KCP) Communications Toolkit
A Helpful Resource for Members of the Media
Kidney disease is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. It is estimated that over 26 million Americans today suffer from kidney disease and millions more are at increased risk. The groups with the highest risk for developing kidney failure include African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, seniors (those 65 and older), and anyone with a family history of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The dramatic rise in kidney failure is attributable to the increase of diabetes and hypertension, two skyrocketing chronic diseases and the leading risk factors for end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Four hundred thousand Americans have irreversible kidney failure. Kidney failure is fatal unless a patient receives one of two types of treatment—dialysis or kidney transplantation. Transplantation is limited due to the shortage of donor organs, so the vast majority of patients undergo regular dialysis treatments of three to four hours duration, three times week. Today’s patients are older and sicker than those first enrolled in the Medicare ESRD program, due primarily to the aging of the population and the long-term effects of diabetes and hypertension.
In 2008, Kidney Care Partners (KCP) was instrumental in advocating on Capitol Hill for key ESRD provisions in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331/S. 3101), otherwise known as MIPAA. Because of this historic legislation, the millions of Americans who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the millions more who are at risk will have the tools and resources absolutely necessary to better manage their own healthcare and understand the options that exist for not only them, but also the entire kidney community composed of doctors, care providers, and family members.