Satellite Healthcare, Kidney Health Groups Respond to Drastic Medicare Reimbursement Cuts for Dialysis
San Jose, CA - November 26, 2013 — Satellite Healthcare, along with other major dialysis patient advocacy organizations, reacted with disappointment this week to the news that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just approved drastic cuts to dialysis reimbursement for patients on Medicare.
“The final Medicare rule is a huge blow to patients and providers alike and phasing them in over time in no way softens the impact of that blow,” said Mark Burke, President and CEO of Satellite Healthcare. “It's impossible to think that cuts of this magnitude won't dramatically affect the care of Medicare patients who depend on dialysis treatments to stay alive.”
Though delaying implementation of the cuts until after 2014, the new rule does not change CMS' original proposal, issued in July, which sought reimbursement cuts of 12 percent or nearly $30 per treatment. Phasing those cuts in over three to four years will have a severe impact on dialysis patients by reducing treatment access to and options for those with end stage renal disease (ESRD).
Heather Dauler, Director of Government Affairs at Satellite Healthcare, is concerned the effects will be felt disproportionately among Medicare patients in already-underserved demographics. “Unfortunately, clinics in urban and rural areas with high Medicare populations will feel the impact of these new cuts the most,” Dauler said. “Regardless of when the cuts are implemented, they will have real and dramatic ramifications for our patients and those of our partners around the country.”
With approximately 85 percent of U.S. dialysis patients relying on Medicare for their treatments, the proposal will impact more than 400,000 Americans. An additional 20 million are at increased risk of ESRD due to health and genetic factors and may require dialysis in the future.
About Satellite Healthcare:
Satellite Healthcare, Inc., is one of the nation’s first and leading providers of dialysis services and kidney disease care. With its affiliated services, Satellite WellBound, Satellite Dialysis, Satellite Health Plan and Satellite Research, Satellite Healthcare provides unparalleled early patient wellness education, personalized clinical services and a complete range of dialysis therapy choices. In addition, Satellite Healthcare has a deeply entrenched commitment to philanthropy, from distributing millions of dollars in research grants to sponsoring kidney walks nationwide. Taken together, these activities enable the organization to advance the standard of chronic kidney disease care so patients can achieve a better life.
Media Contact: Kim Hernandez, 650-404-3623