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Kidney Community Applauds Senate for Passage of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Improvements

Legislation Significantly Improves Kidney Care in America--Increased Kidney Care Education and Updates for Kidney Dialysis Benefit

WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the passage of the Medicare bill (H.R. 6331) yesterday, Kidney Care Partners (KCP) -- 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 -- applauded the United States Senate for inclusion of vital End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) provisions which recognize the importance of much needed reform surrounding the ESRD program for the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from kidney failure. Over 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease -- and that number is climbing.

These important reforms of the kidney care benefit will improve kidney care for patients nationwide, including in our most vulnerable minority and rural communities. Specifically, these Medicare program improvements will:

-- Establish important education and prevention programs to help slow the progression of kidney disease and kidney failure;

-- Revise the payment methodology for ESRD treatment;

-- Provide an inflation update to account for critical staffing demands and services.

"On behalf of the kidney community and the Americans who rely on these provisions for their survival, we are extremely pleased that lawmakers voted to pass this much-needed legislation for kidney care in 2008," said Dr. Edward Jones, Chairman of KCP and practicing nephrologist. "It is imperative that the medical needs of chronic kidney disease patients be understood by our government and all Americans. Yesterday's actions are great strides for the community in an otherwise tough legislative environment, and we are committed to overcoming the challenges before us with regard to the growth of ESRD prevalence. We thank Congress for assisting us in this effort and look forward to working with Congress and the Administration over the months to come."

Each year, more than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with ESRD and require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive. Today, approximately 400,000 patients in the United States are living with kidney failure.

SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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