The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Grace Bootright
Legislative Director of The National Grange 

Government actually got it right on rural renal care

Guest Commentary

 


Rarely do federal lawmakers come upon a policy that can expand access to critical health care services and simultaneously save taxpayers money.

But according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, a tweak in the way Medicare pays for certain kidney disease drugs could do just that—preserving the availability of crucial treatments to rural patients and saving the program billions.

At issue is Medicare’s handling of a few “oral-only” dialysis medications designed for end-stage renal disease, the most severe version of chronic kidney disease.

In 2011, Medicare switched to a payment system that reimbursed for all dialysis-related treatments in one “bundled” rate. In...



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