Renal Physicians Association Research and Education Foundation
Improving Renal Care through Health Services Research and Education
The Renal Physicians Association Research and Education Foundation (RPA/REF) was established in 1990 as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation to provide research and educational support for the renal physician. RPA/REF’s efforts are directed toward improving the practice of nephrology and quality of care to patients with Kidney disease.
RPA/REF activities have included co-sponsorship with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) of an annual meeting, sponsorship of audio-conferences and the development of clinical practice guidelines. The annual meeting has provided nephrologists with scientific updates and current information on socioeconomic issues. Topics have included an analysis of socioeconomic factors and access to renal transplantation, the effect of capitated reimbursement on the quality of care in nephrology, and the application of continuous quality improvement techniques in dialysis.
The audio-conferences have focused on topics of particular interest to nephrologists in clinical practice settings, such as the nephrology resource based relative value scale (RBRVS).
RPA/REF published its first clinical practice guideline, “Adequacy of Hemodialysis,” in 1993. A consumer guide and quick reference guide for clinicians accompanies the guideline, which has been broadly disseminated. This was the first evidence-based clinical practice guideline developed for the nephrology specialty.
In 1991 RPA/REF established a post-graduate fellowship in health services research. Three fellows received funding to study the application of case-mix measurements to dialysis populations and vascular access related morbidity.
Each of these activities has required support from private donations and industry grants.
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