Northwest Kidney Centers has been committed to the health and well-being of people challenged with kidney disease for more than 50 years. So we are obliged to oppose the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2016. We hope you will read more about it below, and then send a message to your representatives in Congress urging them to oppose it.
This piece of legislation is fundamentally flawed for several reasons, most importantly its impact on patients:
This bill limits patient choices. It ignores all but the sickest patients.
- The bill doesn’t give patients a reasonable amount of time to make care and insurance decisions. Nor would patients have the option to exit their assigned care model whenever they choose, even if they are concerned about the care they are receiving.
- The legislation risks the relationships that patients have established with their nephrologist and clinic due to network closures by the dialysis/ insurance company.
- The legislation fails to address chronic kidney disease education, transplant or end of life care, three critical components of kidney treatment.
The bill also has unfortunate implications for the dialysis industry as it would essentially create insurance plans run by dialysis providers, something similar to a Medicare Advantage Plan specifically for dialysis patients. Because only the largest dialysis providers would have the resources to run such enterprises, the bill threatens to consolidate the overall number of dialysis providers, which would further limit the choices available to patients.
Finally, the bill essentially duplicates existing programs. Medicare created its Special Needs Plans for ESRD patients and ESCO programs with very similar goals for the same population.
Please consider writing to your Congressional representatives and urging them to oppose the Dialysis Patient Demonstration Act of 2016 – HR 5942.
There’s a handy website where you can easily share your thoughts with Congress. The template allows you to include your own commentary, and your letter will be sent to your two U.S. Senators and your Representative.
Thanks for standing up for patients!