Medicare for ESRD patients to include transportation benefits to dialysis
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ESRD or end stage renal disease patients receive Medicare thanks to a bill signed into law in 1972.ESRD requires dialysis treatment at least three days a week for those who are unable to do it at home. This requires transportation to and from their dialysis clinic which is difficult for many who do not receive Medicaid. Many patients cannot afford the co-pays to and from their treatment and often end up having to miss scheduled treatment; becoming sicker and often in the emergency room because an ambulance is a guaranteed ride to treatment if they call 911 and are sick enough. Expanding Medicare benefits to include transportation coverage for ESRD patients on hemodialysis will save hundreds of thousands a year in hospitalizations due to missed treatment and prevent thousands of deaths from cardiac and respiratory complications of missed treatment due to lack of transportation. It is more cost effective to have a transport benefit than to pay for ER and ICU stays for something that could be prevented.
I care because I am a registered nurse who has worked with this fragile population for many years, too many people suffer needlessly and at times die because of lack of transportation. It is also too costly to the providers and payers to recoup acute care stays.
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