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Help needed to stave off Medicare cuts

As a dialysis facility administrator at Davita Glendale Dialysis, I care for 145 Glendale-area dialysis patients who are concerned about the future of their treatment, and, specifically, about potential changes to their Medicare coverage for dialysis.

As a result of Congress’ inability to reach an agreement on how to reduce our national deficit, my patients, the majority of whom have their dialysis care paid for by Medicare, are facing reductions in coverage for their life-sustaining treatment.

Our kidney-failure patients — your friends, neighbors and loved ones — require life-saving dialysis three times a week for three to four hours to rid their bodies of deadly toxins. Unless Congress continues to look for alternatives, the Medicare program that ensures their care will be faced with $100 billion in cuts — real cuts that may compromise the care these patients need to survive.

Yet, following a recent visit by Representative Adam Schiff’s staff member Tim Hysom to our facility this week, I am more hopeful than ever that our elected officials are making this a priority. I thank Hysom and Schiff for their attention to this important issue and for continued efforts to find alternatives to reducing our nation’s deficit and protecting Glendale’s vulnerable kidney patients.

Deanna Barfield
Lakewood

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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