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Texas Kidney Community Expresses Hope DC Health Care Reform Debate Can Help Drive Continued Progress in Texas Opening Needed Dialysis Facilities
Date:9/8/2009

l town hall meetings can be a harbinger for more necessary focus and discussion here in Texas regarding why opening 38 currently idle ESRD facilities will help boost local jobs and improve patient access to care," said Jess Hall, President of the Texas Division of the National Kidney Foundation. "While the Texas economy remains more robust than the national economy, Friday's announcement that the national unemployment rate hit 9.7 percent is a reminder that more local jobs, in addition to better dialysis access, are good reasons to pursue opening the pending facilities."

"We commend CMS and the many Texas state officials who deserve credit for recognizing the certification backlog problem - with delays of up to 18 months - and then acting collegially and successfully in the public interest to greatly improve access to quality dialysis care for patients in these 22 affected communities," said Robert Hootkins, M.D., medical director of Fresenius Medical Care Austin North. "The end result is better dialysis care for ESRD patients and more jobs for Texans - and now we need the positive momentum to continue. Despite the rancor we all witnessed in the media coverage of town hall meetings, and complaints about government in general, this is one shining example of federal and state government working together, successfully, for those they serve."

Mr. Hall and Dr. Hootkins said the same arguments and logic that helped initiate the certification process for these original 22 facilities is still operative for the remaining 38 facilities. They urged federal and state officials to keep doing the excellent work needed to continue expanding patients' access to the dialysis care they need, where they need it - in addition to ensuring Texas can continue leading the way nationally in terms of economic resiliency.

The Texas U.S. House members successfully working with Senators Cornyn and Hutchison, and who signed the key let
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SOURCE Texas Kidney Care Coalition
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