Wellness & Education Kidney Advocacy Network (weKAN)

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RSN's weKAN program focuses on State/Federal regulatory and legislative issues that impact the care of people on dialysis.  Some of the facets of care that are an ongoing focus of our platform include the need for:

  • Ongoing improvements and expansion of Quality Improvement Program (QIP), such that the quality indicators provide actual insight into the quality of care being provided (and motivation to improve the quality of care).
  • Improved and earlier access to information and education to allow patient-empowered decision making at all stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  • Improved focus and support on the need to recognize and address the emotional facets of CKD.
  • Proper funding to allow patient-focused, evidence-driven care rather than cost-driven care.
  • Proper funding to motivate ongoing research that improves the care, life expectancy, and quality of life of patients with CKD.
  • Proper funding that will allow dialysis facilities to not only maintain current equipment/quality of care, but to also make necessary upgrades and keep pace with state-of-the-art improvements in technology and medical interventions.

Why Advocate for Kidney Care?

Each year, nearly 100,000 people are newly diagnosed with kidney failure. End Stage Renal Disease (stage 5 CKD) is the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States.

Only one thing can help change the course of this disease, and that is for anyone who is affected by it, whether patient, family member or renal professional, to get involved. 

Medical vs. Regulatory vs. Legislative

Medical decisions are made by medical professionals in a clinical setting, such as in a dialysis center, hospital, or doctor’s office. Compared to regulatory or legislative, medical decisions are often the easiest type of decision to modify or revoke. You have likely witnessed the making of many medical decisions during your experiences with CKD, such as when your doctor decides to change the amount of time that you spend dialyzing during each treatment. 

Regulatory decisions are made within industries or within the bodies that oversee these industries with the intent of regulating a certain problem or legislative requirement. The regulatory decision-making process allows for a period of public comment, which enables the rulemaking body to make their decision(s) based on all of the evidence submitted. Regulatory decisions are made at either the state or federal level and impact areas such as public health, environment, and safety. Examples of areas of regulatory decisions and regulatory decision-making bodies include: the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Legislative decisions are made within one or both bodies of Congress (i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate), must be passed by vote, and approved with the President’s signature in order to become a law.

Fast Facts

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Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States:

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure. 

More than 10 percent of people, or more than 20 million, ages 20 years and older in the United States have CKD. 

Over 400,000 people are on dialysis.

Close to 99,000 people are waiting for a kidney.  

No Pending Legislation at this Time.

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