AKF Urges CMS to Reconsider Proposed Cuts in Medicare Dialysis Funding

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—The American Kidney Fund (AKF) 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.”

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