Kidney Patient Organizations, Kidney Community Come Out in Support of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Extension

Patient organizations support extending MSP and using savings for improving Medicare program; National Kidney Foundation, Renal Support Network, American Kidney Fund and DaVita Patient Citizens submit letters to Capitol Hill in favor of ESRD provisions

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Kidney Care Partners -- a coalition of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers and manufacturers working together to improve quality of care for individuals with chronic kidney disease -- and many of its individual member organizations continue to voice their support in the debate over the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) provisions to extend the period for end stage renal disease (ESRD) from 30 to 42 months.

"The 12 month extension will generate savings to the Medicare program which can then be used to educate people who have kidney disease and ensure their continued access to high quality care," said Dr. Edward Jones, Chairman of Kidney Care Partners and a practicing nephrologist. "Four leading kidney patient advocacy organizations -- members of KCP --- endorse the MSP extension as being in the best interest of patients, the Medicare program, taxpayers and the renal community. The MSP extension assures access and quality of life sustaining care required by kidney patients."

Kidney failure is the only disease condition where private insurers can deny coverage. Even if patients want to remain in their private health insurance plan, they are required after 30 months of coverage to go onto Medicare. This may mean that some patients and their families are confronted with higher out-of-pocket costs and less comprehensive health coverage.

While improving quality of care and access for kidney failure patients, the MSP extension would have a negligible cost impact for private employers. The proposal would affect fewer than 10,000 patients nationwide.

In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee, KCP expressed a number of reasons to grant the extension, including: 1) the positive impact on patient care when private payers are incentivized to keep beneficiaries healthy; 2) that having an added year of responsibility for CKD patients would encourage private payers to develop protocols that address patient wellness, prevent hospitalizations and make dialysis safer and more efficient; 3) and that dialysis patients should be afforded the same rights as other patients in choosing how their care is financed.

The Renal Support Network, a patient organization of thousands of people with kidney disease, issued a letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow and the entire Senate Finance committee:

In a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) writes:

The American Kidney Fund writes in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee:

An excerpt of a letter from DaVita Patient Citizens, the largest dialysis patient organization with over 20,000 members -- pre-dialysis and dialysis patients as well as their family members -- reads:

"Our community voices strong support for reform in the ESRD program, which includes reforming the current MSP provision," said Jones. "Early identification, prevention and disease management are good for Medicare, taxpayers and patients who depend on quality kidney care."

Kidney Care Partners and its members are dedicated to working together to improve the quality of care for individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). For more information, please go to www.kidneycarepartners.com.

SOURCE Kidney Care Partners

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