Medicare Offers Kidney Disease Education Services
Part 1 of a 3-part series, Education Services for Medicare Beneficiaries with Kidney Disease, from the American Kidney Fund
Today is World Kidney Day—a day that draws the world’s attention to the importance of kidney health. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you probably know that proper management of CKD may slow its progression and help to prevent complications like heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. But did you know that you may be eligible for certain Medicare benefits that may help you manage your CKD? One such service is the Kidney Disease Education (KDE) benefit.
The Kidney Disease Education Benefit
The KDE benefit came from the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 and became available January 1, 2012. It allows eligible beneficiaries up to six one-hour kidney disease educational sessions during their lifetime. Educational sessions must be conducted by a qualified provider and may be held in person, either individually or in groups, or by phone and online. Qualified providers are licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists who are approved by Medicare.
During the educational sessions you will learn:
- The basics of kidney disease
- How to manage kidney disease
- What happens when kidney disease worsens
- Choices for treating kidney failure (including in-center and at-home dialysis, as well as transplantation)
- How to prepare for kidney replacement therapy
- About life with kidney failure
Am I Eligible?
Beneficiaries must have stage IV CKD (an eGFR of 15 to 29) and be referred for the benefit by the physician managing their kidney disease. Talk to your health care provider to see if this benefit may be appropriate for you.
The KDE benefit can be integrated with other services, such as Medical Nutrition Therapy and Diabetes Self-Management Training, which may also benefit patients with CKD. These additional two benefits will be covered in parts 2 and 3 of this series in April and May 2013.
For more information on kidney disease, risk factors and treatment options, visit kidneyfund.org. If you are a healthcare professional wanting to learn more about educational services for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney disease, please visit kidneyfund.org/professionals to take a free online CEU course.
The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts. It leads the nation in charitable assistance to dialysis patients. Last year, 80,000 people—about 1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. The American Kidney Fund reaches millions of people annually through its national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease; free kidney health screenings; health education materials and courses; online outreach, and a toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.
For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.
KidneyFund.org: Learn about kidney disease and the American Kidney Fund programs.
Y0066_130205_152313 CMS Accepted