Transition Announced

Dr. Robert M. Merion, MD, FACS has announced that he will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Research Collaborative for Health by August 2021. The Arbor Research Board of Directors has appointed a Search Committee to lead the recruitment efforts for a successor. The position opportunity can be found on the Arbor Research careers page. Following the transition, Dr. Merion will remain on staff as a member of the scientific team.

2020 ASTS Vanguard Award

Our collaborator on the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) project, Amit Mathur, MD, transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2020 Vanguard Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), in recognition of his recent publication in Clinical Transplantation, “Return on investment for financial assistance for living kidney donors in the United States.”  This work finds that financial support for organ donors’ out-of-pocket expenses produces dramatic federal savings through incremental living donor kidney transplants, by transitioning patients off dialysis. 

The Experience of Pruritus in CKD

How distress from itchy skin impacts patient health and quality of life

Recent findings from the Chronic Kidney Disease Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (CKDopps) advance our knowledge of the patient experience of pruritus, or itchy skin earlier in the lifecycle of kidney disease. This study demonstrates the high prevalence of pruritus and it's strong relationship to the quality of life, poor sleep, and symptoms of depression. Check out the work of Nidhi Sukul, MD and CKDopps collaborators in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Secular Trends in the Cost of Immunosuppressants after Solid Organ Transplantation in the United States

Generic medications reduce the lifetime costs of organ transplantation

The priceless gift of a transplanted organ comes with life-long costs of the critical immunosuppressant medications that prevent rejection. Although Medicare provides coverage for these drugs to kidney transplant recipients in the three years following a transplant, many transplant recipients have difficulty affording the related out-of-pocket costs post-transplantation.

Findings of a study conducted by Arbor Research Collaborative for Health indicate the potential of relief for these patients and Medicare. This work by Margaret E. Helmuth and her colleagues was published February 28, 2019, in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). They examined cost changes following the introduction of generic variations of two commonly prescribed immunosuppressants and determined that the introduction of generic medications in this class has resulted in substantial savings for transplant patients and Medicare.

Arbor Research Creates Free App to Empower Kidney Disease Patient Self-care

Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, in partnership with NephCure Kidney International and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has created a smartphone-based application to boost self-care by patients with a range of kidney and renal disorders. This tool will empower patients with kidney disease to manage their health conditions while providing opportunities to improve communication with their healthcare providers. The app was developed in collaboration with kidney disease patients, advocates, clinicians, and researchers to ensure that it addresses patient priorities and preferences for managing their health.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Measure and Instrument Development and Support (MIDS) Contracting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected Arbor Research Collaborative for Health as one of 31 organizations across the United States to carry out up to $1.6 billion in contract work related to health care quality measurement over the next decade. CMS designed this contracting vehicle to fund work that promotes improvements in both the quality of care and outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and in the overall efficiency of the Medicare program.

Study of self-reported symptom clusters may improve the diagnosis and treatment of women with lower urinary tract disorders

Currently, women with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are treated according to their most troubling symptom. This approach is not always completely successful, as it does not take into account that patients can have multiple symptoms that respond to different treatments.

The National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) produces dramatic federal savings through financial support for lower-income kidney donors

For each American who has kidney failure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) spends more than $80,000 per year for dialysis treatment. This cost drops to only $30,000 when a patient receives a kidney transplant and no longer needs dialysis.

Uptake of Generic vs Brand Name Immunosuppressants Among US Organ Transplant Recipients

After an organ transplant, a transplant recipient must take immunosuppressive medications to reduce the risk of their body rejecting the transplanted organ. Although using therapeutically equivalent generic medications can reduce financial burden, the transplant community has expressed caution about substituting these for brand-name immunosuppressants.

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