Kidney Community Outlines End-of-Year Policy Priorities in Letter to Capitol Hill

December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – Kidney Care Partners (KCP) – the nation’s leading kidney care multi-stakeholder coalition representing patient advocates, physician organizations, health professional groups, dialysis providers, researchers and manufacturers – sent a letter to Congressional leadership this week requesting that steps be taken to address several pending Medicare cuts facing kidney doctors and to consider policies that could dramatically improve the lives of people living with kidney diseases.

The letter, sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, requests that Congress avert a series of automatic Medicare payment cuts that would profoundly impact access to patient care and further exacerbate health inequities. It also notes that “any year-end package also provides an opportunity to not only stave off threats to the patient community but also improve the lives of people with chronic kidney disease.” The letter advocates that this can be achieved by including provisions currently defined in the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S. 1971/H.R. 4065). In particular, KCP endorses a provision providing guaranteed availability of Medigap policies to all Medicare beneficiaries living with kidney failure, regardless of age. A new independent cost analysis estimates that this policy would increase federal spending by only $50 million over ten years.

“As the year draws to an end, there is certainly no shortage of urgent policy decisions before our elected leaders in Congress, but the pending Medicare cuts would be devastating to the kidney community’s ability to provide quality care to our vulnerable individuals living with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure,” said John P. Butler, Chair of KCP. “We hope Congress will act to avert these cuts and not miss this opportunity to ensure access and equity in quality kidney care for the well-being of the over 30 million Americans currently living with kidney disease.”

The full letter is available here.