Ask congress to support comprehensive kidney legislation

The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017 (S. 1890/H.R. 2644) aims to improve the lives of those with kidney disease. It would fund studies on enhancing options for care and transplants, and understanding how and why kidney disease disproportionately affects minority communities; ensure that all ESRD patients under the age of 65 have access to Medigap insurance; promote home dialysis treatment; and allow ESRD patients to stay on their private insurance for 42 months. 

This comprehensive legislation is similar to a bill that the same three members of Congress had introduced in the last session, with some important differences. Notably, this bill would address the lack of guaranteed access to Medigap for ESRD patients under 65 in 23 states.

Among other provisions, the bill includes:

  1. Studies to improve patient lives and quality of care: The legislation includes three major studies aimed at improving transplant rates, increasing use of new technologies and expanding patient-centered care. The three studies would analyze current policies and practices to ensure that states are using best practices to enhance access to transplants, dialysis centers have incentives to incorporate new and better technologies, and the health care team is working to ensure patients’ needs at all stages of illness are met.
  2. Kidney disease in minority communities:  The bill calls for a study on how kidney disease progresses in minority populations.  African-American and Hispanic individuals are more likely to get kidney disease than their white counterparts, and the study would look at social, behavior and biological factors that might explain the disproportionate effect of kidney disease these communities.
  3. Medigap for all ESRD patients: Only about half of the states require insurers to offer Medigap insurance to ESRD patients under the age of 65. Since Medicare Part B pays only 80 percent of covered charges, Medicare beneficiaries who do not have Medigap must pay the 20 percent coinsurance with no out-of-pocket maximum. Ensuring that ESRD patients under 65 have access to Medigap regardless of the state they live in is critically important to helping them afford their health care costs.
  4. Promoting home dialysis treatment: This bill allows for both home and facility to be originating sites for patients’ monthly clinical assessment via telehealth (Skype or Facetime, for example) as long as patients have an in-person visit once every three months. HR 2644 further expands kidney disease education—expanding it for ESRD patients and allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists to prescribe education services.
  5. Extending the period of Medicare as secondary payer: The bill would allow ESRD patients to stay on their private health insurance for 42 months before moving to Medicare as their primary insurance if they so choose; under current law, they are required to move to Medicare 30 months after diagnosis. Some ESRD patients prefer to stay on their private insurance for as long as possible before moving to Medicare, and the bill would extend that option.

Please email your congress today to request copsonsorship of H.R. 2644/S.1890, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017!

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

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1.
Question - Not Required - What is your connection to kidney disease?










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Once you submit the form, your personalized message will be sent directly to your member of Congress.

 
 

Message

Please Cosponsor S. 1890/H.R. 2644, Important Kidney Disease Legislation

Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent and someone who has been touched by kidney disease, I am writing to respectfully ask that you cosponsor S. 1890/H.R. 2644, the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017.

The bill is comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of those with kidney disease and includes studies on enhancing options for care and transplants, understanding how and why kidney disease disproportionately affects minority communities, ensuring that all ESRD patients under the age of 65 have access to Medigap, promoting home dialysis treatment and allowing ESRD patients to stay on their private insurance for 42 months after diagnosis.


Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]