Kidney Care Partners, in coordination with the Congressional Kidney Caucus, recently hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to stress the importance of ensuring quality kidney care now and in the future. The briefing featured opening remarks by Kidney Caucus co-chairs, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who both emphasized the need for increased awareness and research for kidney care issues.
Nancy Scott, DPC Education Center Board President, was on hand to provide the patient’s perspective to the attendees. Nancy lives by the mantra “end-stage renal disease does not mean the end of your life—just the end of your kidney function,” and highlighted the value of being an informed patient and educating oneself in order to live a fruitful life outside of dialysis. Nancy urged congressional staff in attendance to support the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act and specifically emphasized the importance of opening Medicare Advantage plans to dialysis patients, “All dialysis patients receive Medicare, no matter what age. However, Medicare only pays 80% of health costs…most dialysis patients do not have the funds to pay the remaining 20%. Medicare Advantage would supplement these costs.” Medicare Advantage plans would cap out-of-pocket costs and may improve end-stage renal disease patient outcomes when patients are able to utilize care management interventions.
Nancy closed the session by urging Congress to eliminate barriers to effective patient treatment, by taking steps to educate health care consumers on the prevention of kidney disease and supporting increased research to “open new doors that will lead us all to a better tomorrow!”