I take care of patients whose kidneys do not work. As a result, they rely on a dialysis machine to clean their blood. The treatments they receive three times a week for four hours at a time help them stay healthy. Because of the care they receive, they are able to have careers and enjoy time with family.
Now, these lifesaving treatments are being threatened.
Recent cuts to Medicare proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would cut reimbursement for dialysis by over 9 percent.
Kidney failure patients, like the ones I care for, require dialysis to survive and at least 85 percent of them rely predominantly on Medicare.
These proposed cuts will, without a doubt, have an enormous impact on their access to quality care.
I urge you to join the kidney community, the American Nephrology Nurses' Association and me in getting the word out to our legislators who can make a difference. ANNA designates the second week in August as the Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week.
Please contact Rep. Steve Daines, Sen. Jon Tester and Sen. Max Baucus to protect the patients who require Medicare funding for lifesaving dialysis care. Their lives depend on it.
Doug Braun, Registered Nurse, Havre