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August 21, 2013

Regarding the article “A Kidney for Harry” (Aug. 16): More than 9,000 people in Maryland rely on a dialysis machine to clean their blood because their kidneys have failed. The treatments they receive three times a week for four hours at a time help them stay alive. … And now, these life-saving treatments are being threatened. Recent cuts to Medicare proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would cut reimbursement for dialysis by more than 9 percent.

Kidney failure patients require dialysis to survive, and at least 85 percent of them rely predominantly on Medicare to help pay the cost of treatment. These proposed cuts will … have an enormous impact on their access to … care. For some patients, there is the fear that the facility they rely on may have to close. Others may no longer be able to receive free nutritional supplements, essential education or extended hours so they can receive treatment at night and work during the day.

I urge JT readers to join the Nat-ional Kidney Foundation in getting the word out to our legislators. … Please contact your representative in Congress through the National Kidney Foundation’s Take Action Network at kidney.org/takeaction. You can help protect thousands of patients. …

Christopher Simon, LCSW-C
Chairman, Board of Directors
National Kidney Foundation of Maryland


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