American Kidney Fund Praises New National Health Care Campaign to Improve Survival Rates for Patients with Kidney Failure

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The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today lauded a kidney care community campaign aimed to significantly improve survival of first-year dialysis patients nationwide. The "Performance Excellence and Accountability in Kidney Care" - or PEAK - Campaign, launched by Kidney Care Partners, is a voluntary effort to reduce mortality among first-year dialysis patients by 20 percent.

The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to supporting dialysis patients nationwide through education and financial assistance. We support the PEAK Campaign's goals to improve education and patient-centered care methods among first-year dialysis patients

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today lauded a kidney care community campaign aimed to significantly improve survival of first-year dialysis patients nationwide. The "Performance Excellence and Accountability in Kidney Care" - or PEAK - Campaign, launched by Kidney Care Partners, is a voluntary effort to reduce mortality among first-year dialysis patients by 20 percent.

Working with Brown University and Quality Partners of Rhode Island, as well experts in the kidney care community, the PEAK Campaign will equip health care providers and professionals with tools to help first-year dialysis patients better understand their disease and manage the effects of dialysis on themselves and their families. KCP and its campaign participants believe that, in addition to improving and extending the lives of people with kidney failure, PEAK will also result in a healthier patient population and reduce patient hospitalizations.

"The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to supporting dialysis patients nationwide through education and financial assistance. We support the PEAK Campaign's goals to improve education and patient-centered care methods among first-year dialysis patients," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "We commend Kidney Care Partners for taking this step toward further quality improvement with a focus on saving lives."

Kidney disease affects more than 31 million people nationwide. Approximately 500,000 Americans are living with kidney failure, which requires them to undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation to survive. Transplants are limited because of the shortage of donor organs, so most patients undergo dialysis for three to four hours, three times a week. The number of Americans with kidney disease is rising steadily due to risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high blood pressure.

Consistently over the past ten years, kidney failure survival rates have improved; however, first-year mortality has remained stable compared to overall mortality. In fact, recent data from the 2008 US Renal Data System report highlights the persistent high mortality rate in kidney failure patients in the first year of their life on dialysis- an annualized rate of about 30 percent. This is in contrast to the improvement seen in the mortality of dialysis patients between two and five years after dialysis initiation. The kidney care community has recognized the need to improve the first-year mortality rate as compared to other industrialized nations.    

PEAK was launched by Kidney Care Partners (KCP), a broad-based coalition of kidney patient advocacy groups, health care professional organizations, dialysis service providers and manufacturers who seek to improve quality of care available to patients diagnosed with CKD and kidney failure.

For more information about PEAK, please visit the campaign website at http://www.kidneycarequality.org.

About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund is the nation's No. 1 source of treatment-related financial assistance to kidney patients and a leader in providing health education to people with or at risk for kidney disease. In 2008, the American Kidney Fund provided treatment-related grants to 75,000 kidney patients totaling more than $119.5 million. The American Kidney Fund reaches tens of thousands of individuals each year with information about kidney health; operates a kidney disease screening program in high-risk communities; and maintains a toll-free HelpLine (866-300-2900) which provides education about kidney disease. The American Kidney Fund is a seven-time recipient of the highest "Four Star" rating from Charity Navigator; holds an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy; adheres to the National Health Council Standards of Excellence; and is a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

Media Contact: Tenee M. Hawkins, Director of Communications, 301.984.6630 thawkins(at)kidneyfund(dot)org

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