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American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Joins Kidney Care Leaders Against Proposed Cuts In Medicare Funding For Dialysis

The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association () today joined the nation’s leading kidney care coalition in expressing concern over cuts proposed by the Centers for & Medicaid Services (CMS) to funding for life-sustaining dialysis treatments.

ANNA is concerned about a CMS ruling that would cut 12% from the payment system for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), said ANNA President , MSN, MBA, RN, CNN.

“With 80% of dialysis patients relying on Medicare for their treatments, any cuts by the federal government will have enormous repercussions in the kidney community,” Gomez said. “We are urging policymakers to intervene with CMS to modify the final rule. Some patients could lose quality care and access to the treatments they need to survive.”

According to KCP, the CMS proposal comes on the heels of numerous bi-partisan appeals from lawmakers to take a cautious approach to implementing ATRA’s (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) ESRD provisions. In June, 17 bi-partisan Senators sent a letter to CMS urging officials to make payment adjustments “in a manner that does not gut this crucial service for vulnerable beneficiaries.” Similar letters were sent by the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Committee Chairman and Ranking Member as well as the three Congressional minority caucuses.

In addition, four of the nation’s leading kidney patient advocacy organizations – the National Kidney Foundation, the American Kidney Fund, Dialysis Patient Citizens, and Renal Support Network – joined together to urge CMS to be cautious in its rulemaking.

“CMS has the authority – and the obligation – to protect people with kidney failure who depend on dialysis,” Gomez said. “This proposed rule does just the opposite.”

She added that ANNA will work with KCP and other kidney community organizations to advocate for patients to protect quality care and access to care.

ANNA represents nephrology nursing, which is one of the largest and most diverse nursing specialties in the country. Nephrology nurses work in a broad variety of settings and care for patients of all ages who have, or are at risk for, kidney disease. The number of people diagnosed with kidney failure has doubled each decade for the last two decades and the rise is likely to continue, according to industry experts.