Trump to sign executive order overhauling kidney transplant, dialysis market

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Kidney transplant surgery.

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President Donald Trump will issue an executive order Wednesday designed to reform the nation’s kidney treatment industry and save the U.S. government millions of dollars, administration officials said.

The executive order would create new payment models to encourage more kidney transplants and give patients incentives to seek dialysis treatment at home instead of at more expensive treatment centers, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a call with reporters.

Trump is expected to address the plan in a speech later Wednesday morning.

About 30 million U.S. adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease and most are not diagnosed, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treating the disease cost Medicare more than $110 billion a year.

The executive order comes two days after a federal judge in Washington, D.C. dealt a blow to the Trump administration by striking down a rule that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list price of their drugs in television ads.

It also follows Trump’s executive order last month that directs the Department of Health and Human Services to require hospitals and insurers to disclose negotiated rates for services, as well as provide patients with out-of-pocket prices before their procedures.

High health-care costs have become a rare bipartisan issue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding changes. Trump, who is seeking re-election, has made lowering prices for consumers one of the key issues of his administration as health care remains a top issue for voters in the 2020 elections.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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