By Cortney Beavers of Pell City, AL.

One of the most difficult moments of my life was finding out that, despite being only 24 years old, my kidney was beginning to fail. After years of dialysis and a kidney transplant, I learned through my experiences in the health care system what needs to be improved. Doctors and nurses need a better care coordination framework to more effectively treat their patients.

I had the benefit of working with terrific nurses and other providers who met my needs and communicated well between one another, but unfortunately that’s not the case for every kidney patient. Some patients I’ve talked to struggle because providers running their dialysis treatments weren’t aware of their other health problems.

I’m confident these patients would have had an easier time during dialysis if their providers better coordinated to provide individualized treatment plans. Patients receive better care when their doctors have access to their full medical history and a complete picture of their health.

To fix this problem, Congress must pass the BETTER Kidney Care Act that will implement a coordinated care framework that makes it easier for dialysis patients’ doctors to work together and prescribe the best possible treatments. The BETTER Kidney Care Act will also provide additional services, such as transportation to clinics and dental care, for patients on Medicare.

I, like other kidney patients in Alabama, hope Representative Rogers will support this important bill. Dialysis patients deserve the best support and care from their doctors, which is only possible with care coordination.

This article was originally published under the “Letters” section of Bama News Now‘s website: