Go to DaVita.com Physicians
Go to blog home

March 11, 2014

Top 3 Easy Ways You Can Make an Impact During National Kidney Month

Once again, National Kidney Month is upon us. As nephrologists we deal with kidney disease on a daily basis, but the unfortunate reality is that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a relatively unrecognized condition. Even though 1 out of 10 adults in the United States has kidney disease,[1] CKD has yet to reach the public awareness level of other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. In fact, approximately 60 percent of patients with late-stage kidney disease are unaware their kidneys are failing.[2]

What does that mean for us as nephrologists? Our unique position as leaders in kidney care provides the opportunity to educate our patients, our loved ones and others in our communities. Here are three simple steps you can take to help raise awareness during National Kidney Month.

Read more…

February 26, 2014

5 things to look forward to at DaVita’s Physician Leadership Meeting

This year’s DaVita Physician Leadership Meeting (PLM) will be held Feb. 27 and 28 in San Diego, Calif. PLM is a gathering of DaVita medical directors and business leaders. This will be the ninth and largest PLM, with more than 1,000 attendees from 46 states across the country, including 700-plus medical directors.

Read more…

February 17, 2014

DaVita Honored to Treat Patients in Saudi Arabia

The recently announced partnership of DaVita and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a great opportunity to work together with an outstanding healthcare-delivery system to improve the health of its citizens. Kidney disease is an emerging public health concern in Saudi Arabia, as it is in the United States. DaVita is honored to be able to bring our knowledge and experience to enhance what is already excellent care, as well as to continue learning how best to improve care for kidney patients. This is truly a winning situation for DaVita, for Saudi Arabia and for kidney patients.

Read on below for more details on this partnership.

Left to right: Vice Minister of Health and Health Affairs, Dr. Mansour Naser Al-Howasi, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Tim Lenderking, Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, Chief Operating Officer of DaVita HealthCare Partners, Dennis Kogod.

Left to right: Vice Minister of Health and Health Affairs, Dr. Mansour Naser Al-Howasi, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Tim Lenderking, Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, Chief Operating Officer of DaVita HealthCare Partners, Dennis Kogod.

Read more…

January 28, 2014

15 Million Americans Could Face Reduced Healthcare Options and Higher Costs

Fellow physicians,

I’m writing this post today to encourage you to join me and show your support in helping stop proposed Medicare Advantage cuts.

As early as February, Congress is expected to craft a longer-term solution for a Medicare payment system based more on quality and value than on the current fee-for-service system. Medicare Advantage (MA), one of the programs undergoing increased scrutiny, has allowed physicians to provide far better overall care to patients. Currently, almost 15 million seniors and people with disabilities rely on the care and benefits provided by MA plans. Over the next 10 years, Washington plans to cut $200 billion from these plans, which may lead to higher out-of-pocket costs, limited choice in physicians, fewer plans for managing chronic conditions and increased hospital readmission rates. While this cut does not directly affect dialysis patients, it has the potential to impact patients on a Medicare Advantage plan who are currently in earlier stages of chronic kidney disease.


“If implemented, the proposed funding cuts could affect millions of Americans.”


When we learn of legislative proposals that could affect vulnerable patients, we want to make sure that members of the physician community are aware of them and have the opportunity to voice concerns.

How can you help?

Tell Congress to stop cuts to MA. It takes only one minute to help protect patients across the nation.

  • Go to ProtectYourMA.com
  • Provide your zip code
  • Use the message template to contact your legislator


Show your support now >>

Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring quality healthcare options for all.



Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP
Chief Medical Officer

January 23, 2014

5 Twitter Accounts every Nephrologist should Follow

I’ve written before about Twitter accounts to follow for dialysis patient resources, and now I’d like to share a few accounts I think my fellow nephrologists will be interested in. With content ranging from tweets during recent events like ASN Kidney Week to links to articles and even nephrology humor, these accounts can’t be missed. The number of nephrologists and nephrology fellows on Twitter has certainly increased in the last few years and there are many great accounts to follow. In fact, I created a nephrologist list on Twitter where you can find more. Read more…

January 17, 2014

Kidney Care Trends That Will Shape 2014

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that means medical professionals are setting goals to further improve health outcomes for their patients. This is particularly important for patients who suffer from complex, chronic illnesses.

I’ve compiled a list of trends that I predict will play a large part in shaping kidney care during 2014, with a focus on patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Working Instagraphic2Working patients. This was a hot topic closing out 2013 and will continue to gain attention throughout 2014. Admittedly, for some patients there are medical reasons that prevent them from  working when on dialysis; however, I foresee the kidney care community turning its focus toward the education of patients, employers and the public about the benefits of continuing to work despite being on dialysis. A key part of this educational effort will be an emphasis on treatment options for patients who can continue working. For such patients, the use of home dialysis modalities is particularly helpful. Read more…

December 9, 2013

Maintaining Employment: A Key Component of Health-Related Quality of Life for Dialysis Patients

Working Instagraphic1I was speaking to a group of end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients at a symposium recently and met a 50-year-old man with polycystic kidney disease who had just started on in-center hemodialysis. He had been followed by a nephrologist for a number of years prior to progressing to ESRD, and had been well prepared by conventional standards to start dialysis while being placed on the cadaver transplant list. He had an arteriovenous fistula, and began dialysis uneventfully as an outpatient. He said that physically he was adapting well to dialysis, but was concerned and depressed because he quit his job when he knew dialysis was imminent. His doctor had not had a conversation about this issue with him and he didn’t know what to do or how he was going to continue to take care of his family. He asked me why dialysis patients had to stop working and he was surprised to hear me say that he could continue working, and that his doctor and dialysis facility should be helping him work through this issue and get back to work. This story is only too common. Read more…

November 27, 2013

CMS Issued a Final Ruling on 2014 Dialysis Payment Rates

As many of you may know, on Nov. 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule on 2014 payment rates for dialysis facilities paid under the End Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System (ESRD PPS) as well as updates to the Quality Incentive Program (QIP). CMS first announced a proposed cut of 12 percent(1) from Medicare’s ESRD program in July, potentially threatening access to dialysis care for thousands of patients with kidney disease across the country.

Thanks to the support from our physician partners, patients, teammates and other members of the kidney care community over the last few months, we were able to generate more than 124,000 contacts to Congress asking them to help stop the cuts. Our combined efforts were a success, resulting in flat rates over the next two years and continued access to dialysis care for our patients. But we still have some work to do to help mitigate future cuts. Read more…

October 31, 2013

ASN 2013: The Global Kidney Care Community Meets in Atlanta

The American Society of Nephrology’s (ASN’s) Kidney Week, the world’s premier nephrology conference, is upon us again. This year more than 13,000 kidney professionals from across the globe will descend on Atlanta, Ga., for a week of sharing knowledge, learning the latest scientific and medical advances and engaging in provocative discussions that will help usher in a better tomorrow in kidney care.

ASN Kidney Week 2013ASN is changing the focus of Kidney Week in 2013 to innovation and individualization. In a preview video, ASN executive director Tod Ibrahim spoke with ASN president Bruce Molitoris, MD, FASN, about what’s new. After watching it, I am excited to know that attendees will be gaining more real-world information to carry home and use directly for patient care. Additionally, attendees will enjoy expanded early programs, more basic science sessions and a new and enhanced Kidney Week 2013 app. Read more…

October 10, 2013

Dialysis and Depression on World Mental Health Day

While looking at my calendar recently, I noticed World Mental Health Day was near. I began to think about the many dialysis patients we, as renal caregivers, see and how depression is such a prevalent issue among them. The lifestyle changes to be made during dialysis often bring up feelings of despair and loneliness for patients. They need a support team to help them get over this hurdle.

For today’s post, I asked Duane Dunn, MSW, national director of social work for DaVita, to give us a little insight into the issue of depression in dialysis patients, depression-treatment options and the teams that support this fragile population. Read more…

    Search Blog

    Most Recent Tweets from DaVita

     Twitter.com/DrNissenson         Twitter.com/DaVita

© 2004-2011 DaVita Inc. All rights reserved. Web usage privacy | Privacy of medical information | Terms of use | FAQs | RSS
The content contained on this site is for general informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Communication on and/or other use of this site does not establish a physician-patient relationship. This is not the forum for patient-specific questions or for obtaining medical advice. If you have questions or concerns about your individual health care, please speak directly with your health care providers. If you are a DaVita® patient, please contact your nephrologist or your Facility Administrator. If you have a healthcare emergency or need immediate medical attention, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.