FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
American Kidney Fund Urges CMS to Reconsider Proposed Dramatic Reduction in Medicare Dialysis Funding
ROCKVILLE, MD (July 3, 2013)—The American Kidney Fund, the nation’s leading source of charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients, today expressed deep concern about a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal that would dramatically reduce Medicare funding for life-sustaining dialysis treatment.
CMS’ proposed rule, issued July 1, would result in a 9.4 percent cut to the dialysis payment system. Medicare covers dialysis treatment for about 85 percent of the nation’s dialysis patients. Patients rely on dialysis treatment for survival when their kidneys have failed.
“Such a dramatic cut in services to this vulnerable group of patients is unconscionable, especially on top of other cuts to the dialysis payment system in recent years,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “If this rule is finalized, it is going to limit patients’ access to dialysis and reduce their options for care. Providers need sufficient Medicare funding to continue providing high quality care. We are urging CMS to consider the serious consequences of making such a devastating cut, and to take a more moderate approach that will protect patients.”
“These cuts would have a wide-reaching impact on dialysis patients, who rely on the Medicare benefit not only for dialysis treatment but also for certain drugs, lab work and other vital services,” Burton said.
“The American Kidney Fund along with other kidney patient advocacy organizations, dialysis providers and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recently urged that any payment adjustments be made in a cautious manner to avoid gutting the dialysis benefit,” Burton said. “Today, the American Kidney Fund urges CMS to adjust this proposed rule so that it does not have a devastating impact on one of the nation’s most vulnerable patient populations.”
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts. It leads the nation in charitable assistance to dialysis patients. Last year, nearly 84,000 people—1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients—received assistance from the American Kidney Fund for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. The American Kidney Fund reaches millions of people annually through its national campaign, Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease; free kidney health screenings; health education materials and courses; online outreach, and a toll-free health information HelpLine (866-300-2900). For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.