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Letters to the Editor

Sat., May 4, 2013, midnight

Protect kidney care

Kidney care providers and dialysis facilities have made tremendous strides over the past few years in improving health outcomes despite reductions in federal funding. In honor of World Kidney Day on March 14, I visited Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to talk to members of Congress about this very issue.

More than 30 million Americans are living with kidney disease, and more than half a million with kidney failure (also known as End Stage Renal Disease, or ESRD). Members of Congress, including our own Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, play an important role in ensuring adequate payments for dialysis so hundreds of thousands of Americans can continue to receive quality dialysis care.

Recent cuts to Medicare by Congress will slash reimbursements for dialysis treatments, impacting the level of care our centers will be able to provide. Changes to the bundled payments, by which dialysis providers are paid for the multitude of services they provide, could also have a negative impact.

I hope your readers will urge Cantwell, Murray and McMorris Rodgers to protect patient access and our ability to deliver quality kidney care.

Chris Johnson

Spokane Valley

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