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  • Writer's pictureAventria Health Group

CKD, Diabetes, and Quality Metrics: A Call to Act

Pharmaceutical vice presidents, executive directors, brand leads, marketing leads, and commercial leads:

The landscape of chronic kidney disease (CKD) management is shifting—and for good reason. CKD has been one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States for more than a decade. Diabetes is the leading driver of CKD, and one in three American adults are at risk for CKD, which progresses to end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

ESRD is treated by hemodialysis or kidney transplant, both expensive options with significant impacts on patients’ quality of life. Despite this, as many as 9 in 10 adults with CKD do not know they have it; and about 2 in 5 adults with severe CKD don’t know they have it.

The stats are bad, but there is promise. Most cases of CKD are preventable with good control. Even when not preventable, with appropriate interventions in the initial stages of CKD, progression to ESRD can be delayed by years.

And payer scrutiny via measurement for CKD has arrived.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), working with the National Kidney Foundation, developed a Kidney Health Evaluation HEDIS (Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set) performance measure. In 2020, the NCQA added a measure for annual screening of patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes that includes two tests involved in optimal screening for CKD: the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR).

Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are now measured on this through the STAR ratings, yet only about 50% of patients with diabetes are routinely getting both tests.

How Can Life Sciences and Pharma Companies Help?

Life sciences and pharma companies have an opportunity to engage payers directly by aligning their efforts with the HEDIS measures and STAR metrics. Manufacturers of CKD therapies and those looking to enter the space should be aware of the increased attention from payers, organizations that create guidelines, and patient and professional societies to improve screening and staging.

For companies with diabetes products, these can have a significant impact on progression of CKD. By improving primary care awareness of CKD screening for these high-risk patients and appropriately diagnosing and staging patients, life sciences and pharma companies can help to improve outcomes, get patients on appropriate treatment, and slow the costly and debilitating disease progression.

Companies can help increase awareness through developing patient education in tandem with patient and provider organizations and providing unbranded education directly to providers through direct engagement.

Aligning educational efforts and product promotion of how appropriate product use may help manage disease and the importance of early intervention are other keys to improving patient outcomes.

How is it possible that 90% of adults with CKD do not know they have it? This is due in part to proper testing for CKD in US adults with diabetes and hypertension only being done about 20% of the time in routine clinical care. This care gap can be overcome. How? By engaging providers and patients with evidence-based knowledge and a digital care plan solution in the clinical workflow and tracking the measurable impact on patient outcomes and costs.

Let’s Work Together to Transition From Silent Progression to Proactive Identification

Chronic diseases like CKD often have gaps in care, which can be effectively addressed by bringing together various stakeholders with a shared vision. By collaborating with healthcare providers, health systems, key opinion leaders (KOLs), digital opinion leaders (DOLs), and influencers, and utilizing our cutting-edge technology and industry expertise, we identify and resolve these care gaps with practical solutions that yield measurable and rapid improvements in patient care.

Groundswell Movement™ in CKD: An Opportunity for Improvement

There is a significant care gap that exists among patients with CKD and diabetes. Our CKD Groundswell Movement aims to meaningfully improve patient outcomes and change the course of disease progression. We are on track to do this through earlier detection and intervention by primary care, which ensures the overwhelming number of patients with diabetes who are unaware they have CKD are diagnosed. Doing so allows for appropriate interventions before CKD progresses to the point of being symptomatic, when it is much more severe.

To learn how we can all work together to improve CKD awareness and improve patient care, please reach out to:

Dave Dierk, Co-President, 30-year sales and marketing thought leader in pharmaceutical diagnostics, biomedical, long-term care, managed care, employer, and pharmacy communications, at

Making a difference in patient care by helping patients, providers, and payers collaborate on shared priorities


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