DelBene, Bucshon Applaud Inclusion of $10 Million for KidneyX Funding and Innovation
Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Congressman Larry Bucshon M.D. (R-IN), co-chairs of the bipartisan Kidney Caucus, applauded the inclusion of $10 million for KidneyX in the House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations spending bill. If passed, these funds would help speed up development and access to new therapies and technologies to help people living with kidney disease.
KidneyX is a public-private partnership between kidney stakeholders, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to spur innovation in the kidney care space. Private sector partners have already committed $25 million over five years to KidneyX.
The prevalence of kidney disease is growing and costs taxpayers and Medicare billions. In 2016, Medicare spent $114 billion, or 23% of Medicare fee-for-service spending, to treat chronic kidney disease. When patients reach end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and require dialysis to live, they automatically qualify for Medicare, regardless of their age. Because Medicare is largely the sole payer for ESRD treatment, it is imperative the federal government take the lead in fostering innovation in the kidney care space so that patients can benefit from improved outcomes and lower costs for taxpayers.
“With kidney disease affecting nearly 40 million people in the United States, Congress must pass these funds to help accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease,” said DelBene. She added, “I am very pleased the Appropriations Committee has included these funds in the HHS spending bill and urge Congress to fund KidneyX so we can help more people battling these illnesses.”
“Kidney X is an important partnership that encourages the advancement of innovative solutions for kidney care and treatment. I am pleased to see $10 million will be included in the 2020 appropriations funding which will lead to better medicine, outcomes for patients, and will ultimately reduce cost for Medicare,” said Dr. Bucshon.
DelBene and Dr. Bucshon circulated a letter in March to the Appropriations Committee requesting federal matching funds for KidneyX. In 2017, the Kidney Caucus helped pass a bipartisan home dialysis bill, as part of the Medicare Part B Improvement Act.
 United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2018.