WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 30, 2023) – Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC), the nation’s largest patient-led, non-profit advocacy group for dialysis patients, released the following statement in response to the final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which only increases Medicare reimbursements for dialysis treatment centers by 1.6% and fails to properly fund access to new therapies.

“The End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) final rule released on Friday paints a chilling picture of an agency that is completely indifferent to the suffering of dialysis patients,” said DPC President Andrew Conkling. “The regulation acknowledges the heartbreaking stories from patients like me who have experienced disruptions to their care due to workforce shortages but takes no meaningful steps toward helping healthcare providers compete in the already tight labor market with higher pay. Meanwhile, in direct contradiction to the Biden Administration’s official pronouncements about the economy, CMS continues to insist that a recession, which may or may not happen, will soon ‘update’ its heretofore inaccurate economic forecasts.

“The rule also refuses to acknowledge the injustice of dialysis patients who experience pruritis (itching) being unable to obtain a new, effective treatment for this condition, due to the agency’s inflexible dialysis payment methodology. The rule further solidifies an outrageous status quo, perpetuating unnecessary suffering and deterring researchers and venture capitalists from pursuing improvements to kidney care. CMS needs to do more than just acknowledge the plight of dialysis patients – it should take concrete steps to increase access to life-saving treatments.”

Read the press release on PR Newswire