Inside Health Care #57: Chronic Kidney Disease Often Undiagnosed in Medicare Beneficiaries—Data Highlight

January 26, 2021 · Lawrence Green

This episode of Inside Health Care features a panel discussion about a joint study of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by NCQA, Duke University and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Office of Minority Health. Panelists are Matt Maciejewski, PhD, and Clarissa Diamantidis, PhD (Duke); Loida Tamayo (CMS); and Karen Onstad and Matt Brock (NCQA).

CKD is a gradual loss of kidney function that begins with asymptomatic kidney damage and may progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Rates of diagnosed CKD in Medicare beneficiaries have increased over time; in 2017, 15% of Medicare beneficiaries over 65 had CKD. 37 million adults in the United States have CKD—and 90% of them don’t know they have it.

Although evidence suggests that estimates for the number of people with CKD are low, there is limited information about how many cases go diagnosed and why providers might miss it. The study linked laboratory and claims data to examine CKD recognition and severity (stage) in Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

Click here to learn more about the joint study.

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