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For people receiving kidney dialysis or living with a kidney transplant, planning for emergencies and disasters can be the difference between life and death. Dialysis and kidney transplant patients must take special preparedness measures to ensure their own health and safety during and after disasters.

The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program provides technical assistance to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, kidney organizations, and other groups to ensure timely and efficient disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for the kidney community.

The KCER Program's disaster preparedness resources help save lives, improve outcomes, empower patients and families, educate healthcare workers, build partnerships with stakeholders, promote readiness in the community, and support the ESRD Network. KCER is a program of the End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Take a few minutes to browse the information about KCER, KCER Committees, and resources for patients, providers, and ESRD Networks. Also included on the site are resources for emergency management preparedness and response for individuals, patients, staff and organizations (such as dialysis facilities and the ESRD Networks). Feel free to contact us with any questions.

KCER presented at an American Kidney Fund meeting to provide an overview of the KCER Program, and the unique requirements for kidney patients when it comes to emergency preparedness.  Watch the presentation here.

Mission

Collaboratively develop, disseminate, implement, and maintain a coordinated preparedness and response framework for the kidney community.

Vision

KCER serves as the leading authority on emergency preparedness and response for the kidney community by providing organization and guidance that seamlessly bridges the needs of emergency management stakeholders and the ESRD community nationwide.

Goals

  • Raise public awareness of the critical needs of individuals with kidney failure and the providers who serve them, and the need to plan ahead to ensure that life-saving dialysis services are available and obtainable in the event of an emergency and/or disaster;
  • Promote and disseminate tools and resources so that these are available to individuals with kidney failure, dialysis facilities, and federal, state, and emergency workers;
  • Test and refine the national response strategy that has been put into place to assist federal, state, and local efforts in the event of an emergency and/or disaster; and
  • Plan for a possible flu pandemic.

The KCER program provides resources to save lives, improve outcomes, empower patients and families, educate healthcare workers, build partnerships with stakeholders, promote awareness in the community, and support the ESRD Networks in disaster coordination efforts.

Each year, KCER prepares an annual summary to share the results and accomplishments of the program.

The first National Disaster Summit for the kidney community was held in Washington, D.C., in January 2006. During the Summit, the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition was formed in an effort to minimize disruption to life-sustaining dialysis and transplant services. The KCER Program included partners from the entire kidney community, representing: patient and professional organizations; practitioners serving the patient with kidney failure, such as nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers, and physicians; providers, including independent dialysis facilities, large dialysis organizations, and transplant facilities; hospitals; suppliers; ESRD Networks; state emergency and State Survey Agency representatives; and federal agencies, including the FDA, CDC, NIH as well as CMS. The 2007 Summit was held on March 1 in Baltimore, Maryland. The KCER Program continues to hold annual Summit meetings to promote emergency preparedness in the kidney community.

Effective March 11, 2016, HSAG was awarded the KCER Program contract. The vision for KCER is to build on its current foundation, and to continue to follow the concepts, principles, and best practices of an all-hazards comprehensive emergency management program to support the nation's ESRD organizations during a major crisis or disaster. Our programmatic approach to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery will be as consistent as possible with national and existing industry standards for emergency management.

KCER Staff

CMS Representative

  • Todd Johnson, MSW, LCSW, BCD  – CMS Contracting Officer's Representative/CMS Government Task Leader