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Kidney Care Community Commends Congressional Black Caucus for Naming Expansion of Medicare Provisions for Kidney Failure Patients as Top Priority
Date:10/12/2009

NBA-All Star Alonzo Mourning, Kidney Care Partners Call Attention to Extended Medicare Secondary Payer Policy as Cost-Saving Reform to Improve Patient Access to Quality Care

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kidney Care Partners - an alliance of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers and manufacturers working together to improve quality of care for individuals with kidney disease and kidney failure - today applauded the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for supporting reforms that will improve patient access and choice in receiving quality kidney care. In an October 7 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the CBC identified the expansion of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) provisions in the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) benefit - estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to save Medicare $1.2 billion over 10 years - as a top priority to be included in healthcare reform legislation.

"We applaud the Congressional Black Caucus for their leadership in advancing policies that will improve access and choice for all patients with kidney disease," said Kent Thiry, Chairman of Kidney Care Partners. "As kidney disease and kidney failure continue to rise, particularly among minority populations, reforms supported by the CBC are even more critical."

The letter to Speaker Pelosi followed a breakfast meeting in which members of the CBC met with seven-time NBA All-Star player and kidney transplant recipient Alonzo Mourning to discuss the importance of public policy changes that would positively affect patients with kidney disease, including an extension of the Medicare Secondary Payer provision and expanded coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for transplant patients.

Medicare pays for dialysis treatment for a significant proportion of patients with kidney failure. However, as currently structured, Medicare's ESRD benefit forces patients off of their private insurance and
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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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