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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

onto Medicare after 30 months of dialysis. This discriminatory policy, which affects no other category of Medicare beneficiaries, is imposed regardless of patient preferences and even if private insurance plans offer more comprehensive coverage than Medicare.

Estimates from the CBO have shown that extending MSP from 30 to 42 months would result in Medicare savings of $1.2 billion over ten years, which could be used to pay for expanded immunosuppressant drug coverage. Current Medicare policy limits coverage to life-saving immunosuppressant drugs to 36 months, restricting access to needed medications that can prevent organ rejection. Extending immunosuppressive coverage beyond the 36-month limit would improve transplant outcomes and provide this life-saving treatment option to an increased number of kidney failure patients.

A disproportionate number of kidney disease and kidney failure patients are African American, due to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, leading risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Approximately 32 percent of all patients who experience kidney failure in the United States are African American, yet they only make up about 12 percent of the nation's population. Today, more than 527,000 patients in the United States are living with kidney failure, and require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.

Mourning, a member of the Miami Heat's 2006 NBA championship team, received a kidney transplant in 2003 after being diagnosed with Focal Glomerulosclerosis, a degenerative kidney disease, in 2000. Mourning returned to the NBA following his transplant and has since been an advocate for kidney patients nationwide.

About Kidney Care Partners

Kidney Care Partners is an alliance of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, providers and manufacturers working together to improve the quality of care for individuals with End Stage Renal D
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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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