FAIR Foundation opposes the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2017
The FAIR Foundation Board of Directors has carefully examined the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2017 (S. 2065) (HR 4143) (“the PATIENTS Act”), and strongly opposes its adoption. There is serious negative impact of this legislation on Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and their access to kidney transplantation.
The PATIENTS Act appears to place control over kidney transplantation (a highly complex surgical procedure) in the hands of entities with no surgical expertise. These controlling organizations have financial conflicts to discourage kidney transplantation which is often the best treatment option for Medicare patients with ESRD. Limiting access to transplantation would actually increase overall Medicare costs since kidney transplantation has been widely demonstrated to be the most cost-effective long-term treatment for ESRD patients when compared to a lifetime of dialysis. Furthermore, the PATIENTS Act is duplicative of several other worthy efforts focused on improving ESRD patient care including the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC) Model which addresses the same concepts proposed in the PATIENTS Act in a more comprehensive and patient oriented fashion.
Finally, the FAIR Foundation joins dialysis and transplant professional as well as other patient-centered volunteer organizations which now oppose the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act of 2017.