Milken Institute's Sarah Wells Kocsis Talks About CKD Care Moving Forward

Sarah Wells Kocsis, MBA, coauthor of the Milken Institute report, “Chronic Kidney Disease: Finding a Path to Prevention, Earlier Detection, and Management,” discusses how the health care system can better suit the needs of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Sarah Wells Kocsis, MBA, director of the Center for Public Health at the Milken Institute, talks about the future of chronic kidney disease (CKD) care, which was discussed in a report she coauthored, “Chronic Kidney Disease: Finding a Path to Prevention, Earlier Detection, and Management.”


How can our health care system keep changing to better suit the needs of patients with CKD?

What's optimistic and exciting is that I really do believe, based on our work, that we are in a special moment in time right now, both for public health and for CKD. COVID-19 has really put a spotlight around public health and how important it is, and it's really garnered societal attention about its relevance and why it's needed. For CKD, there's been a lot of progress. There's been new therapies, there's been new technology platforms, there's been better data, and there's been machine learning. So when you sort of combine the attention around public health and the need for it, and the need for public health approaches, and you attach that to CKD and building momentum, that really translates into some excellent progress right now. So we really need to build on that momentum.

We also felt that, in uncovering emerging trends in this report and work, we identified some behavioral shifts that are important. And so I think as we move forward, it's not important just to identify the changes in the trends, but to track them, measure them, evaluate them, and modify them. And by doing that, we're going to be able to better deeply understand the impact that this disease has on morbidity, mortality, quality of life. And we need to do that for people who have been diagnosed with CKD, but also all the people out there who are at risk for the disease and don't even know that they have it.