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Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality Launches Initiative to Improve Care for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

February 15, 2022

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) today announced a new initiative that will identify patients who are at a higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) sooner and start treatment before they progress to a more severe disease state. The project is supported by Bayer. 

Nearly 40 percent of people living with Type 2 diabetes will develop CKD. CKD in Type 2 diabetics leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular events and is the main cause of end-stage kidney disease. CKD progresses gradually and silently, as most patients have no symptoms in the early stages. The only way to diagnose CKD is to check for albumin in the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage, and to follow up with a blood test to measure kidney function. 

The initiative leverages WCHQ’s expertise in data collection, measurement and quality improvement with Bayer’s cross-functional expertise in CKD and its relationship to diabetes and hypertension. WCHQ has more than 15 years of experience in de novo measure development. WCHQ’s member health systems provide input into the measurement development process, then they test, report and review the usefulness of the metrics in the clinical setting. The data also inform quality improvement efforts in health systems statewide. 

WCHQ President and CEO Gabrielle Rude, PhD, said the project will have a far-reaching impact on the diagnosis of and treatment for CKD. 

“WCHQ is unique in the health care environment because we collect data and then use it to monitor and drive quality improvement among our member health systems,” Dr. Rude said. “This project is focused on finding better ways to identify, prevent and treat chronic kidney disease and then share what we learn with practitioners across the country.” 

CKD is a common and potentially deadly condition that is generally underrecognized. CKD can shorten life expectancy of patients with Type 2 diabetes by up to 16 years, relative to the general population living without either disease. For nearly two decades, WCHQ has been focused on using data and scientific evidence to help its member health systems and medical clinics improve health care quality. Bayer is an innovation leader in cardiovascular diseases, with a long-standing commitment to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The heart and the kidneys are closely linked in health and disease, and Bayer is working in a wide range of therapeutic areas on new treatment approaches for cardiovascular and kidney diseases with high unmet medical needs. 

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