Members of Congress Call on CMS to Improve Kidney Care Access

 Kidney Care Partners (KCP) – the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan kidney care coalition dedicated to protecting access and comprised of more than 30 organizations, including patients, dialysis professionals, physicians, nurses, researchers, therapeutic innovators, transplant coordinators, and manufacturers – today applauded Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN), co-chairs of the Congressional Kidney Caucus as well as Representative Ami Bera (D-CA), Congressional Health Care Innovation Caucus co-chair, for urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce Medicare barriers to innovative advancements in kidney care. The coalition also commended Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) for urging CMS to establish a forecast error adjustment in the final end-stage renal disease prospective payment system (ESRD PPS) for calendar year 2024.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Reps. DelBene, Bucshon, and Bera outlined their concern that changes proposed in the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule do not sufficiently address barriers limiting patient access to new and innovative products.

“While we appreciate the importance of the current bundled payment system to promote high-quality and efficient care, we are skeptical that the proposed post-TDAPA add-on payments would, in many cases, sufficiently reimburse for new, innovative products,” the letter read. “For example, the proposed rule indicates that using available data for the current TDAPA product, CMS’ methodology would result in a nine-cent increase to the base rate for all dialysis patient claims, regardless of whether they use the product or not.”

A second letter to CMS, Reps. Kelly and Sewell raised concern about the significant impact the healthcare workforce shortage has had on dialysis providers and requested that a forecast error adjustment, similar to adjustments previously made for other prospective payment systems, be implemented to help address this problem. The letter also noted, “Although additional steps must be taken to improve the performance of the ESRD PPS payment adequacy, this immediate action is critical for Americans living with kidney failure.”

“All across the spectrum of kidney care, from providers to patients to innovators, there is a call for CMS to make policy changes to improve our kidney care infrastructure. Now we’re pleased to see members of Congress join our call for improvements to the rule,” said John P. Butler, Chair of KCP. “We thank these congressional champions of kidney care for their leadership and urge CMS to reexamine the ESRD PPS proposed rule to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease have access to innovations and life-sustaining care.”

Kidney Care Partners
Sarah Feagan



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  • Government
  • Medical & Health

Hong Kong – Speech by CJ at Rule of Law Congress: Rule of Law and Justice for All under Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 (English only) (with photo)

Speech by CJ at Rule of Law Congress: Rule of Law and Justice for All under Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 (English only) (with photo)


The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     Following is the speech by the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, at the Rule of Law Congress: Rule of Law and Justice for All under Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 today (November 11): 


Chief Executive (Mr John Lee), Director Chen (Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Mr Chen Dong), Secretary for Justice (Mr Paul Lam, SC), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,


     I am honoured to be invited to make these Opening Remarks at this year’s Rule of Law Congress. Since the inaugural Hong Kong Legal Week in 2019, this event has quickly become one of great significance, not just to the legal industry, but to a wider audience in general. It is an important reminder of the Hong Kong SAR’s dedication to the rule of law, and also the need for the public to understand and value the rule of law in order for a culture of lawfulness and a peaceful society to flourish. In this regard, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Department of Justice for their annual arrangement.


     It has long been said that Hong Kong’s success is built on the strength of its rule of law. This is undoubtedly true. The rule of law and lawfulness indeed underlie Hong Kong’s prosperity and peaceful society. As is generally agreed, the rule of law requires that laws must be properly enacted and clearly expressed. They must be published and publicly accessible. The rule of law also means that laws must be seriously enforced and where there are disputes about the law, there must be means to resolve those disputes. The rule of law as practised in Hong Kong also embraces the protection of human rights. In Hong Kong, fundamental human rights are constitutionally guaranteed and protected under Chapter III of the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is constitutionally entrenched under Article 39 of the Basic Law. Moreover, although many of these rights are not absolute, the courts have consistently given them generous interpretations and jealously guarded against any restrictions.


     An important premise of the rule of law is an independent judiciary that upholds the rule of law and safeguards the rights and freedoms of all members of society. This is what is provided for under the Basic Law. Articles 2 and 19 of the Basic Law specifically provide that the Hong Kong SAR enjoys and is vested with independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. Article 85 goes on to provide that courts shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. Our impartial, independent and transparent judicial system therefore provides individuals and organisations with a secure business environment and a level playing field. They can be confident that whatever disputes that may come their way will be resolved in a fair manner, by a court system that administers justice without fear or favour, bias or deceit. Our court hearings are open to the public, our judicial decisions are publicly announced, and the courts’ reasons are published for everyone to study. All this is designed to enhance the public’s awareness of and confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong.


     However, the rule of law is not static. It also continues to grow and evolve, and encapsulate and incorporate new elements of fairness and equality, and new forms of dispute resolution. Indeed, a natural extension of the rule of law is the growth and development of different forms of dispute resolution. This is an important topic, particularly for the Judiciary. In recent years, court-annexed mediation and other means of dispute resolution have grown and flourished in Hong Kong. As new ways of doing business and interacting with one another evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the demand for timely, cost-effective dispute resolution mechanisms also grows. As one of Lord Bingham’s principles of the Rule of Law has it, “means must be provided for resolving, without prohibitive cost or inordinate delay, bona fide civil disputes which the parties themselves are unable to resolve”. Whilst the courts are there to provide dispute resolution through litigation, it must be recognised that litigation is not always accessible to all, and the outcomes of litigation are not always ideal or time- and cost-effective. By ensuring increased access to different forms of dispute resolution mechanisms, access to justice is enhanced, and the reach of the rule of law is both greater and firmer, and this in turn promotes the benefits that are associated with the rule of law.


     The continued development of the rule of law is critical in ensuring that the developing needs of society are met, particularly as relates to access to justice by society at large. Failing to meet this demand could lead to disillusionment with the rule of law, and it is of critical importance to the future that the support of the next generation for the rule of law is enlisted.

      In addition to ensuring members of society have good access to justice, it is equally important that they are armed with an understanding and appreciation for the rule of law. This issue of education is of such importance that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have in recent years partnered together and jointly developed educational tools and materials to train teachers on human rights and the rule of law, under the Global Citizenship Education for the Rule of Law partnership. Schools are, in many ways, a microcosm of society, and as such they are the perfect environment in which young people ought to be engaged in thinking about the rule of law, its purpose and benefits, and why the rule of law is superior to, say, the rule of man, mob rule, or rule by law. The youth of Hong Kong, and indeed, the world over, are just as significant contributors to a culture of the rule of law and lawfulness as other members of society.


     Although the rule of law is open to different legitimate interpretations, like many other concepts, it is susceptible to be misinterpreted and misuse. In this information technology-driven era, bias and misinformation are just as easily spread, if not more easily spread, than information. In prosperity, it is all too easy to take the rule of law for granted, as it seems to naturally underpin our society. Yet, without fair-mindedness, and without a culture of lawfulness, there can be no rule of law. These are values that we must now work hard to impart on the next generations, to ensure that they too will safeguard the rule of law and enjoy the benefits of a fair and peaceful society, in which justice is accessible to all.


     Looking at today’s programme, if I were to pick one word to describe it, it would be “progress”. The rule of law is not static. It must also develop and evolve to meet the needs of society. New elements will be incorporated, and the old elements must also be continuously reviewed and strengthened. The topics being discussed today not only examine what the rule of law is, but what it can be for us all in the future. As I mentioned, this conference is a reminder of Hong Kong’s dedication – we are dedicated to safeguarding and maintaining our rule of law. With maintenance comes development, and with development comes evolution. And so it must be with the rule of law, that in its safeguarding we must also ensure that it continues to grow, so that it is strong enough to meet the future challenges of society.


     With that in mind, I am sure you are all looking forward to today’s programme, and it only remains for me to thank again the Department of Justice for their arrangement, and extend my appreciation to each of the speakers for their contributions, and of course to all of you for your time in joining this Congress today. I trust it will be a successful conference, and I look forward to seeing the fruits it will bear in due course. Thank you very much.

7th World Congress on Spine and Spinal Disorders

 Announcement of the Premier Congress – Spine 2022.

The Editors of the Journal of Spine, with great pleasure announcing the 7th World Congress on Spine and Spinal Disorders to be held from September 21-22, 2022 in London, UK.

Spine 2022 is the premier international congress specifically focused on Spine Congress. This congress provides a comprehensive educational experience in Spine Surgery and includes nearly 70 speakers and moderators from various institutions across academic and private practice settings. The past meeting in December 2021 attracted between 700-600 registrants.

The 2 days of the meeting will bring forth the true essence of spine care, with sessions discussing everything from the very basics to the most advanced, from the mundane to the cerebral. It’s going to be an academic extravaganza for all.

And to do justice to this high claim, a plethora of national and international faculties, an in-person who’s who of the beloved subject, will be present on the podium to guide young minds in this adventure.

Spine 2022 is the one-time experience, promising everyone a day filled with knowledge cruises and academic safaris.

Spine Congress

Luciana Alice

+44 02037691778



  • Neurology

Congress Reauthorizes EB-5 Regional Center Program

Five-year authorization through September 30, 2027

Milwaukee, WI – WEBWIRE

United States communities and investors looking to start a new life in the United States. Today marks a new chapter. “This is a proud moment for everyone who crafted this day – public, private, nonprofit, and individuals. This long-term authorization cultivates improvements which will serve our communities and provide protections for immigrant investors for years to come.”

Late Thursday night, the United States Congress passed the Omnibus bill to fund the United States Federal Government and renew the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. The bill heads to the desk of President Joe Biden for final signature today. 


In a joint statement from Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this week, both touted the significant nature of the bill. “This historic legislation will carry major bipartisan legislation that has been in the making for years.”


The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (H.R. 2471) includes a 5-year authorization for the EB-5 Regional Center Program through September 30, 2027, visa protections for investors from expired legislation, concurrent filing of adjustment of status, and adjustment of fees to achieve efficient processing times, long desired by stakeholders. In addition, the bill sets forward investment amounts for new investors at $800,000 in rural or high unemployment Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) and $1,050,000 in all other areas.


This bill marks the culmination of over a decade of efforts to update the program and is the first long-term reauthorization the program has received since 2015. In addition, this bill restores incentives for EB-5 investments in rural and economically depressed regions, that are struggling to recover from the long-term effects of pandemic conditions. “I have championed these bipartisan reforms for many years, and I am proud that we are finally going to enact them.” Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)


For over 30 years this program has created opportunities for United States communities and investors looking to start a new life in the United States. Today marks a new chapter. “This is a proud moment for everyone who crafted this day – public, private, nonprofit, and individuals. This long-term authorization cultivates improvements which will serve our communities and provide protections for immigrant investors for years to come.”  Bob Kraft, President of IIUSA and Chairman and CEO FirstPathway Partners.


About EB-5

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under this program, investors, their spouse, and unmarried children under 21 are eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) if they make an $800,000 or $1.05 million investment which creates or preserves 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.



Invest in the USA (IIUSA) is the national membership-based 501(c)(6) not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Members account for a vast majority of capital formation and job creation in the U.S. resulting from the EB-5 Program.

About FirstPathway Partners

FirstPathway Partners has helped foreign investors become United States citizens through immigrant investor programs since 2008.  FirstPathway Partners has assisted hundreds of immigrant investors from over 40 countries around the world, raising millions of dollars for job-creating enterprises, and creating thousands of jobs for US workers.

About Bob Kraft

Kraft leads both FirstPathway Partners and IIUSA with an extensive background in immigrant investor programs, global relations, U.S. job creation, and economic growth. He has used his experience and vast network of business and government contacts to further IIUSA’s mission, speaking to media and at conferences around the world on an array of topics. Kraft has earned praise locally for driving economic growth and job creation through the EB-5 Program in the State of Wisconsin. He has been featured on television, radio, in newspapers locally and internationally for his work in the EB-5 industry.


For more information regarding this press release, please visit or contact:


Jennifer Sherer

FirstPathway Partners

Senior Vice President

+1 (414) 431-0742


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Congress, AZ Author Publishes Third Historical Fiction Novel

Pay Dirt: Volume III – Dragon Tooth Gold Series, a new book by Kent J. McGrew, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

Gold is where you find it; the time-honored mantra of the weekend prospector to the seasoned professional; is at best only a half-truth. Gold is where the planet, through its myriad, inanimate geological processes, choose to leave it. The Dragon Tooth Gold Mine was no exception to the science underlying the geological process of gold deposition, however, only difficult to find microscopic gold on the surface masked the deposit from the greedy eyes of the early prospectors.

But it’s not only “The Luck of the Irish” that brings the young Callahans to one of the richest gold mines in the Arizona Territories. Through the patience and perseverance of an Indian woman that Eli Callahan takes for his wife, the secrets of the red mountain are unveiled layer by layer. From gold pan to arrastra and sluice; to underground mining, stamp mills, and amalgam tables, the wealth of the Dragon Tooth Mine fuels the Federal money presses of the Civil War.

There is more in the mine than gold; the remains of dinosaurs that roamed the earth sixty-five million years ago also await for discovery. More than fossilized bones, the unique discovery fans the fires of news craven printing presses worldwide.

Ahead of their times, the Callahans continue the legacy of their father, building wealth and security through hard work, fair labor practice emancipating slaves, and sharing the wealth through shared ownership with their workers.

More adventure, more intrigue, the Dragon Tooth Gold Series continues moving through and beyond the Civil War years.

About the Author
Kent McGrew has taken a refreshing break from years of technical writing to bring his readers Dragon Tooth Gold; an epic historical fiction of gold mining in the American West. Born during WWII, McGrew was raised by immigrant grandparents in the Sacramento Valley. He was drawn into mining partnerships with his father at age fourteen where he discovered the science that should be the bulwark of every effort. After three mining venture failures, he attended the Montana School of Mines for degrees in Mineral Dressing Engineering, an odd corner of extractive metallurgy recovering minerals and metals from ores.

Kent continues to mentor and teach both children and adults, sharing science, math, and mining; avoiding the perils and pitfalls of retirement.

Pay Dirt: Volume III – Dragon Tooth Gold Series is a 368-page hardcover with a retail price of $31.00 (eBook $26.00). The ISBN is 978-1-6491-3154-6. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at or to buy the book visit our online bookstore at