December 16, 2021
Dialysis Patient Advocates Call for Relief for Vascular Access Centers
WASHINGTON, DC — As momentum builds on Capitol Hill to fix the CMS-directed cuts for vascular access services and other office-based services, patient advocates for the dialysis community are speaking out about the importance of providing relief for office-based specialists.
The Dialysis Vascular Access Coalition (DVAC) has called for swift action to stop the proposed 20% Medicare reimbursement cuts for vascular access services.
Terry Litchfield, a long-time advocate for dialysis patients, said, “As a community, as a society, we have an obligation to protect our most vulnerable. Dialysis patients are predominantly elderly, poor, and come from minority communities. Stopping these painful cuts is essential to protecting patients. Dialysis patients count on vascular access centers for life-sustaining support and if they shutter, it makes treatment more difficult.”
Nieltje Gedney, the Home Dialyzors United (HDU) Executive Director, said, “I know what it’s like to have your vascular access center close without warning because it happened to me. If Congress does not stop these cuts soon, more dialysis patients will have a similar experience. It’s critical that Congress works to mitigate these cuts to ensure dialysis patients can get the best care possible.”
DVAC has made it clear that local vascular access centers will be forced to close due to insufficient Medicare reimbursement levels and that the net result will be lower quality care for patients, with an even greater impact on the minority communities that are already underserved.