The CMS Office of Minority Health welcomes your participation in promoting observances throughout the year to raise awareness about health issues affecting people across our nation. Share our resources on prevention, health equity, and research about health disparities.
Promoting Kidney Health During National Kidney Month
During March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) recognizes National Kidney Month. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects an estimated 37 million Americans, amounting to 1 in 7 U.S. adults, and is most common in people over age 65. CKD causes damage to the kidneys and limits their ability to filter blood, which can lead to kidney failure and may necessitate a transplant or dialysis. Since people with early-stage kidney disease usually do not experience symptoms, 9 in 10 adults living with CKD remain unaware they have the disease. This month, CMS OMH hopes to highlight the importance of screening for early detection of CKD to prevent kidney failure, especially for those who have increased risk of the disease.
The two largest risk factors for CKD are diabetes and hypertension, along with heart disease and obesity. These are all conditions that disproportionately impact minority populations. Among Medicare fee-for-service enrollees in 2020, Black Americans were most heavily affected by CKD (36%), followed by American Indian/Alaska Natives (32%), Hispanic Americans (29%), and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (26%). Those at high risk for CKD should be sure to get tested for the disease regularly.
National Kidney Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness in your community about early CKD screening and treatment options. CMS OMH encourages you to share the following resources to help.
See the Chronic Kidney Disease Disparities in Medicare Fee-For-Service Beneficiaries data snapshot to learn more about CKD among Medicare fee-for-service enrollees.
Review the Chronic Kidney Disease Often Undiagnosed in Medicare Beneficiaries data highlight to see how CKD stages compared between lab tests and diagnoses among people enrolled in Medicare.
Check out the Chronic Kidney Disease Disparities: Educational Guide for Primary Care, which is intended to promote the development of primary care practice teams that can enhance care for patients who are at risk of CKD or living with CKD.
Read about our Connected Care campaign, which raises awareness of the benefits of chronic care management (CCM) for patients with multiple chronic conditions and provides health care professionals with resources to implement CCM, like the CCM Connected Care Toolkit. This toolkit includes tips and fact sheets for health care professionals, along with educational materials to share with patients.
View the Coverage to Care (C2C) Roadmap to Better Care, which explains what health coverage is and how to use it to get primary care and preventive services. This resource is available in 9 languages.
Visit the C2C Prevention Resources webpage to download resources for your patients so they can learn about services available at no cost to them under most health coverage. All resources are available in 8 languages.
Share Managing Diabetes: Medicare Coverage and Resources, which includes information about cost-saving programs and Medicare coverage, along with tips to help patients manage their diabetes. Other CMS OMH diabetes resources include our Diabetes Management: Directory of Provider Resources, Diabetes Disparities in Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries data snapshot, Disparities in Diabetes Care Among Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries data highlight, and Diabetes Prevention Programs: Equity Tailored Resources.
Learn about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative, which has been updated regularly since 2006 to establish public health strategies for promoting kidney health.
Visit the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases National Kidney Month webpage to find additional information and resources that you can share with those you serve.