(CNN) – (7/10/19) On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at transforming kidney care for the more than 37 million Americans with some form of kidney disease. The administration said it is the first kidney-focused executive order since 1973.
The first goal is to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment, in part through a public awareness campaign to prevent patients from going into kidney failure. The goal is to reduce the number of patients by 25% by 2030. It would provide incentives for preventive care, as many people who have kidney problems don’t know until it is too late to take preventative steps.
The second is to increase access to options for patients with end-stage renal disease. That would include finding more ways to provide more people with in-home care, rather than treatment at dialysis centers.
The third goal is to double the number of organs transplanted by 2030. The order will create new payment models as an incentive for treatment centers to modernize the organ transplant system. It will also call on the US Department of Health and Human Services to improve support for living kidney donors. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said there will be new payment models encouraging patients to receive transplants, rather than remain on dialysis.
The U.S. government currently spends more than $110 billion on patients with kidney disease. That is one-fifth of the spending of all Medicare dollars, Azar said. Azar believes the executive order will save money in the long run.
Asked by CNN whether first lady Melania Trump or her office had any involvement in the executive order, given her own kidney procedure last year, Domestic Policy Council director Joe Grogan did not answer, but said, “This is in the wheelhouse of the type of problems the President likes to confront,” noting that this was an area “the President understood needs to be addressed,” and that he is “very proud to be taking this initiative.”