To the Editor:
Kidney disease affects one in 10 Americans, so chances are most of your readers know someone with kidney disease or kidney failure. Dialysis care is a lifeline for many of these patients, more than 80 percent of whom depend on Medicare for this life-sustaining treatment. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant, patients will not survive. Medicare cuts enacted in Washington from the fiscal cliff deal will have a significant impact on dialysis providers and patients nationwide.
For these beneficiaries, dialysis providers receive a bundled payment for a multitude of services. Specifically, patients receive four-hour dialysis sessions at least three times a week, which includes lab services, nursing care, medications and more. Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost of dialysis treatments, thus many dialysis facilities lose money on the majority of patients.
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