Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Opinion

News Opinion

Medicare cuts hit dialysis hard

On July 1, Medicare proposed a dramatic and disappointing reduction in dialysis payment rates that could jeopardize local dialysis care. As a dialysis professional I am responsible for some of the sickest and most vulnerable patients in Maryland, those with kidney failure who depend on dialysis three times each week to stay alive. Most people on dialysis, regardless of age, have Medicare. The new Medicare cuts worry me. The cost impact could result in reduced dialysis services and clinic closures at a time when kidney disease is rising in our state. Currently there are 13,138 Maryland residents suffering with kidney failure, an increase of approximately 15 percent since 2005. These cuts will be hardest on rural and inner city clinics where Medicare populations are highest.

Fiscal challenges require doing more with less. Two years ago we adopted a new payment plan which required belt tightening, but we kept our service quality high and our clinic network intact. This progress could be threatened by the new round of proposed Medicare cuts.

Our elected officials should urge Medicare to protect our neighbors and loved ones who suffer from kidney failure. The clock is ticking on this proposal and the lives of those who need lifesaving dialysis care.

Sarrah Johnson, National Harbor

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Medicare cuts for dialysis would be disastrous for people with kidney disease

    Medicare cuts for dialysis would be disastrous for people with kidney disease

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a 10 percent cut to the Medicare payment for dialysis — a proposed reduction that is ill-advised, to say the least ("Medicare cuts hit dialysis hard," July 15).

  • Dixon's return

    Dixon's return

    Given the riots after Freddie Gray's death, the ensuing spike in violent crime and all the systemic economic, educational and social problems that have been brought to light as a result, Baltimore could assuredly use an election. We need a real conversation about this city's leadership, and we...

  • The burdens of being black

    The burdens of being black

    I was born human more than a half century ago but also birthed with the burden of being black. I discovered racial discrimination early in life. I grew up among the black poor in Hartford, where a pattern of housing segregation prevailed. One city, but separated North end and South end on the basis...

  • Montgomery's sick leave experiment

    Montgomery's sick leave experiment

    Long before there was a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants, Montgomery County adopted such a restriction when it was still a pretty controversial step to take. Before the Maryland General Assembly approved widespread use of cameras to enforce traffic laws, Montgomery County already had them...

  • Partnerships improve health care in Maryland

    Partnerships improve health care in Maryland

    For decades, as health care costs continued to spiral upward and patients were stymied by an increasingly fragmented health care system, policy leaders, politicians and front-line caregivers strained to find a better way to care for people.

  • Could a state property tax cap stimulate Baltimore's economy?

    Could a state property tax cap stimulate Baltimore's economy?

    When Gov. Larry Hogan announced his rejection of the Red Line, an east-west rail transit line in Baltimore City, he seemed to derail the high hopes of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and many other supporters of the $2.9 billion project. "He canceled a project," lamented the mayor, "that would have...

  • Mosby in Cosmo and Vogue [Poll]

    Mosby in Cosmo and Vogue [Poll]

    Was it wrong for city State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to appear in Vogue and Cosmopolitan when she has concerns about publicity in the Freddie Gray case?

  • Baltimore's broken roadways

    Baltimore's broken roadways

    Baltimore's traffic congestion is awful, causing adverse quality of life and economic consequences. Add to that the effect on air quality and cost of health-related problems caused by vehicle pollution.

Comments
Loading

70°