Integrating programs for healthy eating and movement with conventional CKD care

In nearly two-thirds of chronic kidney disease (CKD) cases in the United States, the underlying cause is diabetes or hypertension. In the general population, integrating healthy eating and movement (increased physical activity) with conventional medical care improves diabetes and hypertension outcomes. Adverse outcomes associated with CKD due to diabetes or hypertension can be reduced by integrating healthy eating and healthy movement with conventional medical care.

CKD risks are disproportionately high among people of low socioeconomic status (SES); Medicaid is the federal government program designed to support the health needs of patients with low socioeconomic status. Donald Wesson, MD, MBA, FASN, and colleagues conducted a study to examine whether there are offerings within Medicaid that could support the integration of healthy eating and healthy movement with traditional medical care to treat patients with chronic kidney disease and diabetes or hypertension. The results of the study were reported during a poster session at NKF SCM22 in a poster entitled Support for payment policy to integrate healthy eating and healthy movement with traditional medical care for chronic kidney disease care.

Increasingly, Medicaid goes beyond the realm of conventional health care to meet the health needs of its patients by adding non-medical health drivers, such as healthy eating and healthy movement. Some state Medicaid programs address those needs with managed care products and other authorities. In some states, Medicaid uses flexibility within the program to allow access to home-delivered meals and help fund state infrastructure to support healthy eating. Grants are also available to support incentives for recipients to take advantage of various programs designed to encourage and support increased physical activity.

In summary, the authors said, “Medicaid provides opportunities for states to support the integration of healthy eating and healthy movement with conventional medical care in the treatment of people with diabetes and/or hypertension associated with CKD. This integration holds promise to reduce the rise in adverse outcomes in all CKD patients and should be explored as a mechanism to reduce adverse outcomes, especially in low socioeconomic populations whose health needs are supported by Medicaid.”

Source: Wesson D, Mathur V, Tangri N, Hamlett S, Bushinsky D. Support for payment policy to integrate healthy eating and healthy movement with traditional medical care for chronic kidney disease care. Abstract of a poster (Poster #254) presented at the National Kidney Foundation Spring 2022 Clinical Meetings, Boston, Massachusetts, April 6-10, 2022.

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