Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States

A Public Policy Imperative

Published in: Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology, v. 3, no. 6, Nov. 1, 2008, p. [1902]-1910

Posted on on January 01, 2008

by Richard A. Rettig, Keith C. Norris, Allen R. Nissenson

Read More

Access further information on this document at Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In the past decade, a crisis in nephrology has slowly emerged in the areas of both clinical care and public policy. In 2003, the Council of American Kidney Societies (CAKS) identified 19 barriers to improved patient outcomes in chronic kidney disease (CKD). DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Site visits and in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with 15 nephrologists focusing on current issues with identifying and treating patients with CKD. The qualitative analyses were considered in the context of CAKS-identified barriers to assess the present state of nephrology care and provide a foundation for a more detailed quantitative CKD project potential implications for advancing nephrology-related health policy. RESULTS: Despite new evidence-based therapies to slow, stop, or reverse the progression of CKD to ESRD as well as premature cardiovascular disease, major systemic barriers continue to limit the implementation of this body of evidence at the level of the nephrology practice. Key factors include under- or uninsurance, unstructured medical care systems, and lack of enabling public policies. CONCLUSIONS: The crisis of nephrology is embedded within the unresolved duress of the ability to provide quality early intervention juxtaposed upon inadequate reimbursement for clinical care and procedures, unfunded mandates for information technology systems, and organizational inconsistencies between nephrology and other specialties. We believe now is the time for the renal community and related stakeholders to unite in an effort to address the clinical, financial, and public policy issues that will enable the delivery of appropriate CKD care to this vulnerable patient population.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.