According to the Davita Advocacy Center, End-of-Year Medicare Cuts Could Impact Dialysis Patients and Providers!
Kidney disease impacts one in 10 Americans. Dialysis care is a lifeline for many of these patients and without dialysis or a transplant, patients would not survive. Medicare cuts being discussed may have a significant and disproportionate impact on dialysis providers and patients nationwide, of whom over 80 percent depend on Medicare for life-sustaining treatment.
For these beneficiaries, dialysis providers receive a “bundled” payment for a multitude of services. Specifically, patients receive four-hour dialysis sessions at least three times a week, which includes lab services, nursing care, medications and more. Medicare barely covers the full cost of dialysis treatments, thus many of our facilities lose money on the majority of patients we serve.
As policymakers in Washington discuss cuts to an already stretched “bundled” payment that is still adjusting to changes and approaching a sequestration cut in January, I fear facilities could close their doors, leaving patients in a precarious situation –forced to travel long distances to receive care, dialyze at a hospital emergency room that costs the system more money, or forego some necessary care altogether.
Please take a moment to email your members of Congress TODAY! Ask them not to cut or restructure the vital services Medicare makes available to America's kidney patients!
According to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation Autosomal dominant (ADPKD) is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases. It does not skip a generation. There is usually a family history of ADPKD. Parents with ADPKD have a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on to each of their children.
Autosomal recessive (ARPKD) is a relatively rare genetic disorder, occurring in approximately 1 in 20,000 individuals. It affects boys and girls equally and often causes significant mortality in the first month of life.
From the National Kidney Foundation: Contact Congress to help Kidney Transplant Recipients access immunosuppressive drugs!
S. 1454 and H.R. 2969
Kidney transplant recipients who are eligible for Medicare due to irreversible kidney failure, but who are not Medicare-aged or Medicare-disabled, lose their Medicare three years after the transplant. This legislation would continue access to Medicare indefinitely, but would cover anti-rejection medications only. All other Medicare would end after three years for kidney recipients, as under current law.
Medicare covers life-saving dialysis for most Americans, regardless of their age, with no time limit. However, if they are under age 65 or are not Medicare-disabled (receiving Social Security Disability Income), their Medicare eligibility ends 36 months after the transplant. Kidney recipients are then forced to find new coverage for immunosuppressive medications that are necessary to help reduce the risk of losing the kidney.
Statistics from "Donate Life America" state there are currently, more than 115,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States.
65,335 Multicultural Patients*
1,735 Pediatric Patients*
28,535 Organ Transplants Performed in 2011
14,144 Organ Donors in 2011
More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2011
More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising
From the American Kidney Fund:
As a result of last year’s failed Congressional negotiations on deficit reduction, Medicare is currently facing an automatic, across-the-board reduction of up to 2 percent. This reduction is set to take effect in January 2013. Unless Congress acts, these cuts will impact Medicare’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program, which today covers nearly 80 percent of all dialysis patients.
Over the past few years, Medicare’s ESRD program has undergone significant changes to reduce overall payments to dialysis providers through a new bundled payment system. With the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) already reporting low margins for dialysis providers, additional cuts to Medicare’s ESRD program could force the consolidation or closure of dialysis clinics, resulting in reduced access to care and services for kidney patients.
ESRD patients are a vulnerable population who rely on dialysis to live. Take action today by sending a personalized letter to your Congressional representatives asking them to prevent harmful cuts to Medicare’s ESRD program!
From the National Foundation for Transplants
At the NationalFoundation for Transplants, our goal is to ensure that transplant patients are given every opportunity to fully enjoy the gift of life.
We understand how frightening it is to deal with a health crisis, and we also realize how difficult it is to ask for help. That's why we make each patient a top priority, offering fundraising assistance and guidance to make the process a little easier.
If you have any questions about fundraising with NFT or you'd like to get involved to help a patient, please click here, email us, or call 800-489-3863.