Recent developments in nephrology allow for preventive treatment of chronic kidney disease. Touchpoint can help your customers realize the full potential of early treatment.
The practice of nephrology is shifting from managing patients with end-stage renal disease to treating chronic kidney disease with the aim of slowing, stopping, and even reversing its progression. While dialysis remains a mainstay of nephrology, it has come under pressure from policymakers and payers, given the large patient populations managed with dialysis at high cost. Payers have recognized that dialysis does not reduce the mortality associated with end-stage renal disease but only defers it, and reimbursement for dialysis units is decreasing in some areas, all leading to declining quality of care. Due to reimbursement challenges, insufficient patient and caregiver awareness, and lack of established referral patterns with clinicians of other specialties, patients cannot yet take full advantage of the emerging possibilities of early preventive and disease-altering treatment for chronic kidney disease. Moreover, kidney disease may start in childhood, forcing parents to take on large responsibilities for the care of their children.
The main barriers to treatment are related to reimbursement, late referral of patients from primary to specialty care, and lack of patient awareness of chronic kidney disease. Overcoming the barriers to treating chronic kidney disease becomes especially important considering the challenges that are still associated with kidney transplantation — namely, increasing waiting lists, as well as death from infection due to immunosuppression.
To give patients access to the best possible care for kidney disease, the following advocacy and education efforts are needed:
- Advocacy for reimbursement of treatments for chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease treatment is multidisciplinary and involves nutritionists, exercise physiologists, dieticians, and social workers. Treating chronic kidney disease avoids costly interventions later
- Education of primary care providers to recognize early stage chronic kidney disease to enable timely referral of patients to specialty care
- Patient education to increase awareness of chronic kidney disease and to promote potentially life-saving lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, weight reduction, and increased physical activity
- Education on the management of pediatric kidney disease for patients and their families
- Education on emerging treatments and practices improving the outcomes of immunosuppression
Touchpoint has the capability to provide expert provider and patient education.
Provider education by our medical science liaisons can be aimed at scientific discussions about treatment paradigms for chronic kidney disease. Field sales representatives can reinforce awareness of the early indications of chronic kidney disease, as well as provide protocols for decision-making and referrals.
Our clinical health educators can provide patient and family education on pediatric chronic kidney disease. They can also provide community education through local talks and public service announcements.