Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

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).

Dangerous would be a far better term. Dialysis providers faced with this eventuality will of necessity have to cut back. Each cutback will result in a reduction of quality care.

I am living with kidney failure. Dialysis has been my life-saving therapy for more than 13 years. Dialysis therapy has allowed me to witness graduations, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, the birth of three grandchildren and other family events. More importantly, Dialysis gave my six children a father to love them, advise them, share in their successes — and yes, pick them up when they stumbled instead of having them witness my funeral at age 43.

Three times each week I am stuck with needles so large they would make any person cringe. I require the individual who sticks me to be the best trained technician available and have the requisite time to perform the procedure properly and safely. I can't help but think of the numerous ways insufficient compensation will affect my care. Training, lab work, medications administered during treatment, water treatment plants, facility upkeep as well as overworked doctors, nurses and patient care technicians. The list goes on and on.

Without adequate funds, providers will cut back in many vital areas, contributing to an inevitable reduction in the quality of care to a patient population heavily skewed toward minorities and lower-income families. These are often families with the least ability to supplement treatment with their own funds. Many patients have other conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, that put them at even higher risk.

I entreat readers to learn more about this issue today. Please contact our elected officials and tell them you support vulnerable kidney failure patients like myself and the necessary funding for dialysis care we need to survive.

Myron (Mayer) Zayon

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Freedom for dialysis patients

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should encourage more home hemodialysis training

  • Medicare cuts hit dialysis hard
    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...

  • An incomplete report on payments to doctors from drug companies [Letter]

    It actually doesn't do much good to head up an article about payments to doctors by telling readers that a doctor invented a great new device and the company sent him a check for royalties ("Payments to doctors from drug companies, device makers revealed," Oct. 4).

  • Md. health exchange still a problem
    Md. health exchange still a problem

    No matter what one hears, the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange is still a difficult system to navigate ("Give yourself the gift of quality health care," Dec. 3). I have spent the last week trying to create an account, but since my situation isn't typical, I am on my own. The insurance...

  • Health exchange still a hassle
    Health exchange still a hassle

    I found The Sun's editorial, "Beyond the website" (Nov. 23), about how well the new-and-improved Maryland Health Connection had launched to be ironic and not in a good way. Perhaps you should have looked beyond the health insurance website itself to see if the system really had been improved...

  • Give yourself the gift of quality health care
    Give yourself the gift of quality health care

    It's December and quickly creeping toward the next holiday season. We have had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. How about taking a step back and giving a gift to yourself?

  • Dems' clout dims
    Dems' clout dims

    Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin should realize it's not about the bacon; they were elected to protect the residents of Maryland from federal overreach.

  • Why don't Dems question Md.'s flawed health exchange rollout?
    Why don't Dems question Md.'s flawed health exchange rollout?

    Who are Gov. Martin O'Malley and Attorney General Doug Gansler trying to kid? The reason potential litigation over the flawed rollout of Maryland's health exchange is being postponed is the upcoming election. They are deeply afraid of what Noridian is going to claim about Lt. Gov. Anthony...

Comments
Loading