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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 23, 2019.
Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019
This bill addresses Medicare coverage for and access to treatment for chronic kidney disease. Specifically, the bill modifies provisions related to coverage by (1) allowing certain Medicare beneficiaries who have End Stage Renal Disease to enroll in Medicare supplemental policies, and (2) establishing new Medicare payment structures for renal dialysis services. Among other changes, the bill (1) provides for alternative payment methodologies for certain new drugs, biologics, and devices that are renal dialysis services; (2) revises quality measures; (3) establishes an incentive payment methodology; and (4) increases access to kidney disease education services.
In addition, the bill requires information sharing between hospitals and renal dialysis centers in some circumstances as well as federal studies on issues related to kidney disease, including the use of palliative care and ways to increase transplantation rates.
The Department of Health and Human Services may also award National Health Services Corps scholarships and loan repayment to nephrology health professionals.