AAKP Joins Physician and Patient Groups to Offer Health Care Solutions on Capitol Hill

The American Association of Kidney Patients Joins Forces with Health Care Professionals and Patient Group to Offer Health Care Solutions on Capitol Hill

Tampa, FL; – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is proud to have participated in the Capitol Hill Kidney Health Advocacy Day led by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). The event took place Thursday, April 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. This was the first Kidney Health Advocacy Day for ASN in which patients groups were invited to participate. The patient groups included AAKP and Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC).

AAKP, ASN and DCP participants conducted 52 meetings, including seven meetings with members of Congress and two meetings with physicians who are Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows to address three key issues:

  • Support of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Act of 2013, which is legislation that extends Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drug coverage for the life of a transplanted kidney.
  • Support funding for the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in the 2014 budget.
  • Support for the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). This bill would end the federal ban on federal research into organ donations from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients.

“The American Association of Kidney Patients was honored to be invited by the American Society of Nephrology to participate in the Kidney Health Advocacy Day,” stated AAKP President Sam Pederson. “There are several key policy issues AAKP shares with ASN. I am glad we were able to discuss these issues with Congressional offices. We hope that Members see that professional and patient groups are working together to resolve patient care issues.” Mr. Pederson was joined by AAKP Vice President Paul Conway, Board Member Richard Knight and Patient Advocate Brian Hess.

“ASN was thrilled to partner with AAKP and DPC to advance these important issues on Capitol Hill,” said ASN President Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN. “A collaborative effort to present both patient and physician perspectives strengthens our advocacy case for what we are asking Congress to do for those affected by and at risk for kidney disease.”

AAKP thanks the patients and physicians involved in Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2013. AAKP believes an informed patient is the best advocate. AAKP actively addresses public policy issues with government officials, including Congress and federal agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). At the top of AAKP’s agenda is QUALITY of health care – from early diagnosis of CKD to improved dialysis facility quality and better management of comorbid conditions, to increasing transplant opportunities.

About AAKP

The American Association of Kidney Patients is the leader in kidney patient centered education. For more than 40 years, AAKP has provided patients and families the educational tools they need to understand kidney disease and take a more active and informed role in their health care.

AAKP is the voluntary, patient organization, which for more than 40 years, has been dedicated to improving the quality of life of kidney patients through education, advocacy and the fostering of patient communities. The programs offered by AAKP inform and inspire patients and their families to better understand their condition, adjust more readily to their circumstances, and assume more normal, productive lives in their communities.