My husband Raymond and I met on a blind date. Three months later, his kidney unexpectedly failed, and I have walked alongside him on his patient journey ever since. My husband’s life depends on dialysis, the treatment that does what his kidney can’t do.

Unfortunately, we confronted problems with our dialysis center that reflect larger trends caused by insufficient reimbursements from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our nation is confronting a demographic crisis, with fewer working-aged people and more patients, which is why we are seeing worsening shortages of health care workers.

CMS’ reimbursements have been far below the inflation rate, which means providers will not be able to hire and keep necessary staff. For us, we see that dialysis centers simply cannot afford to hire nurses, and therefore cannot afford to provide quality care.

We need to improve the quality of care in all health care facilities throughout the country. Optimal care requires sufficient funding, and CMS is failing to meet the mark.

I hope CMS recognizes the declining state of health care services in this country and decides to increase its reimbursements next year.

Analyn Scott, Laveen, Arizona