EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCuts Could Mean Loss Of Dialysis Care For Thousands Of Americans
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Kristine Frazao
Reported: Jul. 2, 2013 5:02 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 3, 2013 10:34 AM EDT
Hundreds of thousands of Americans who need dialysis care could lose that service next year.
That’s if a plan to cut almost 10 percent from costs of drugs used in a dialysis care pass.
Sinclair Broadcasting National Reporter Kristine Frazao took a closer look at the proposal, what it means and whether there is anything you can do to fight it.
For dialysis patients it's a way of life, three sessions a week, at three to four hours a session.
“It makes a big difference in your health -- being able to function and everything, ” said Almeta Bartley, a dialysis patient.
Bartley has been receiving dialysis treatments for 16 years and said it’s crucial to her survival .
According to the National Kidney Foundation, chronic kidney disease affects one in seven Americans, or 26 million people. If you take into account those with high blood pressure and diabetes, at least 20 million more are at risk.
Despite those large numbers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week proposed 9.4 percent be cut from what dialysis providers receive. That's on top of the 2 percent cut mandated by the government sequester, or budget cuts. This could be felt deepest far away from Washington in towns and communities across the country.
The cuts are part of last year’s fiscal cliff budget negotiations.
Hrant Jamgochian, executive director of Dialysis Patient Citizens, said there “aren't going to be too many facilities that are staying in the black and able to keep their doors open when there's that significant a proposed cut.”
Jamgochian said there have already been reductions in staffing at clinics due to previous cuts - a major concern for those who actually provide the services, such as Vanetta Bonner, facility administrator at the Davita Dialysis Clinic.
“If we have a decrease in staffing, we would not be able to basically pay attention to our patient as an individual person,” Bonner said.
If implemented, the cuts could be devastating to patients, and Jamgochian said, could paint a telling picture of the direction of our society.
If you want to read more about the plan, you can see the compete Medicare report at
If you want to voice your opinion about the plan to cut suppport for dialysis patients, you can do so online.
Just go to this site. Follow the links to submit a comment.
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