Medicare Cuts Hurt

Published by Yakima Herald Republic
Michelle Yarbrough
February 21, 2014

To the editor — The administration’s Medicare cuts, which took effect this year, will drastically cut funding for kidney dialysis necessary for the survival of hundreds of thousands of kidney failure patients across the country and here in Yakima, reducing payments for this life-saving therapy by 12 percent or $30 per dialysis treatment over the next few years.

As an administrator at DaVita Union Gap Dialysis Center, I, along with the caregiving team and patients, shared our serious concerns about these cuts with Peter Godlewski, a staff member of Congressman Doc Hastings, who visited our facility in January to learn more about quality kidney care, and the lives of the approximately 300 patients in the Valley we care for every day.

Dialysis is a lifeline for our kidney failure patients, than 80 percent of whom rely heavily on Medicare to help pay for their dialysis treatments, medications and additional services. Medicare already falls short of covering the full cost of patients’ treatments. The new cuts will further strip scarce resources out of the dialysis program. If these cuts are allowed to continue, kidney failure patients will be placed at immediate risk. I hope readers feel compelled to contact the congressman to ask for his support.

See the original article here.