WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and CVS Kidney Care, a CVS Health company, are partnering on a national campaign to raise awareness of kidney disease, which affects some 37 million people in the U.S. In addition, one in every three American adults, or 33%, are at risk for developing this life-threatening disease.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms until the kidneys fail, so most people with the illness don’t know they have it until it has progressed to critical stages where transplant or dialysis is needed to survive.
NKF and CVS Kidney Care want to change those statistics.
Throughout the month of March, the two organizations will join forces to promote awareness, especially to those who may have risk factors, encouraging individuals to learn more, get tested and talk to their doctors.
The five greatest risk factors of the disease are:
• High blood pressure.
• Heart disease.
• Family history of kidney disease.
“CVS Kidney Care and NKF share the same goals — to enable better care and help patients with kidney disease live longer and better lives,” said Dr. Bruce Culleton, chief medical officer for CVS Kidney Care. “Through CVS Health’s local presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we can help more people understand and manage this disease and, ultimately, decide on the treatment that is aligned to their goals and lifestyle.”
CVS Kidney Care and NKF will promote a digital quiz, which can be found at MinuteForYourKidneys.org. The quiz, part of the Are You the 33%? public awareness campaign, will help people understand their level of risk and what to do next. CVS Kidney Care is also launching an educational site in the near future to help those with kidney disease learn about their condition and make healthy choices every day.
“We are grateful for this partnership with CVS,” said Kevin Longino, chief executive officer of NKF and a kidney transplant recipient. “Because of these efforts, critical information will get into the hands of people who desperately need it. Making patients aware of their risk may help lead to early diagnosis, which can help prevent, or stave off, complications or possible kidney failure.”
CVS Health launched CVS Kidney Care to address the needs of patients at all points in their journey with a chronic kidney disease (CKD) management program, home dialysis services and — pending successful completion of a clinical trial and the receipt of regulatory approval — a new home hemodialysis device.
“Two years ago, we launched a strategic plan to transform kidney care,” said Kari Holloway, general manager of CVS Kidney Care. “Partnering with an organization known for delivering the highest standard of quality care represents the next phase in that plan. Combined with our care management services and future hemodialysis technology advancements, we are helping to guide the health care system from an overreliance on in-center dialysis to treatment delivered in the convenience of a patient’s home.”
CVS Kidney Care also announced a strategic relationship with Satellite Healthcare to advance the care of patients with kidney disease. CVS Kidney Care and Satellite Healthcare will collaborate to provide comprehensive kidney care, and to expand awareness of and access to transplantation and in-home dialysis — initially in two locations, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.
“We have known for many years that more frequent, longer dialysis improves patient outcomes. Realistically this can only be done in the home. Our relationship with Satellite Healthcare will help us make this option a reality for more patients,” said Dr. Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Caremark. “We anticipate expanding this strategic relationship over time, as people with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure need earlier intervention and better options than they have today.”
Satellite Healthcare is among the nation’s leading nonprofit providers of kidney dialysis and related services. It was the first health organization to launch comprehensive support for the entire spectrum of home self-care dialysis treatments. Together, the two companies will focus on increasing transplantation and the use of home therapies and will engage patients, payers and physicians in these efforts. Ascend Clinical, the leading provider of clinical laboratory testing services to the dialysis community, was chosen to provide laboratory testing for CVS Kidney Care as part of this relationship.