Bill would aid kidney dialysis patients: Letter

January 4, 2016

Published by the Clarion-Ledger
January 4, 2016

Although kidney failure is a leading cause of death in the United States, many Americans know little about this disease. As a nation, there is much we can do to improve the quality of life for these patients by developing and utilizing new technologies, expanding patient choice and extending access to coordinated care programs. Thankfully, Mississippi is represented in the U..S. House of Representatives by Congressman Gregg Harper, a Republican who has demonstrated a commitment to addressing the public health concern.

During a recent meeting with the congressman in his Pearl district office, I was excited by his announcement to co-sponsor the bipartisan Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (H.R. 1130). The bill addresses many of the issues facing the 636,000 Americans — and 8,322 Mississippians — living with kidney failure by prioritizing kidney disease research, care coordination, increased patient choice, coordinated research programs and economic stability. The legislation would also increase patient access by allowing patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) the choice to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans that can provide improved access to care and care coordination. Presently, people with ESRD are the only group of beneficiaries in Medicare prohibited from enrolling in MA plans.

We appreciate Congressman Harper’s support and are hopeful he will encourage his colleagues to join him in supporting this important legislation that would provide an improved quality of life for the kidney dialysis patients in Mississippi.

Jeff McPherson
Group Vice President – Gulf Coast
Fresenius Medical Care

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