Your support is helping us to make sure that kidney patients’ voices are heard on Capitol Hill and beyond in 2013. So many of you participated in our National Kidney Month efforts—and whether you joined us in Washington, D.C., for Kidney Action Day on the Hill, participated in one of our online Action Alerts, or engaged with us on social media, our nation’s policymakers and the general public heard your voices loud and clear.
And we’re so proud that two of our Advocates have shared their personal stories on the widely read WebMD Expert Blog "A Different Normal: Living with a Chronic Condition," helping a wide audience to understand what it's like to live with kidney failure. Read the blogs by Houston Advocate NeShell Monroe and Raleigh Advocate Eric Dolby.
There are a number of federal legislative and regulatory issues that could have a great impact on kidney patients and their access to quality care this year. We are monitoring those issues and advocating for policies that will protect patients’ access to care. We are also working to highlight the importance of kidney disease awareness in local communities by holding our series of Kidney Action Days, which will kick off this week in Philadelphia.
We’re incredibly proud of the impact our Advocacy Network is having. If you haven’t done so already, please check out our new Advocacy video! Share it with your friends and family, and encourage them to sign up as an AKF Advocate and make their own voices heard!
Nikia Okoye Director of Government Relations
Advocates Raise Awareness of Kidney Disease on Capitol Hill
On March 6 and 7, 10 Advocates joined the American Kidney Fund in Washington, D.C., for our annual Kidney Action Day on the Hill. Advocates met with their Congressional offices to share their stories, to emphasize the importance of the Medicare ESRD program for kidney patients and their families, and to raise support for lifetime Medicare coverage for anti-rejection medications for kidney transplant recipients.
Kidney Action Day on the Hill also featured free kidney health screenings, health education and virtual fitness activities for Hill staffers. Learn more.
Thank you to everyone who applied to participate in this year’s event. We look forward to accepting applications for our 2014 event later this year.
Sequestration Takes Effect
In March, the automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts (a process known as “sequestration”) took effect after more than a year of failed Congressional negotiations to come up with an alternative budget-cutting solution. Sequestration, which Congress passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, included a 2 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare. As a result, dialysis providers will begin to see a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement.
With dialysis providers already reporting low margins, and in light of a number of Medicare ESRD payment reforms in recent years, AKF advocated against these cuts. In the coming weeks and months, AKF will continue to monitor the federal budget negotiations and advocate against any further cuts to the Medicare ESRD program.
Each year, AKF conducts a thorough review of the current federal legislative and regulatory policy issues impacting kidney patients’ access to quality care, and develops a list of policy issues to focus on in the coming year. Click here to review our 2013 policy priorities.
If any of these policy issues have impacted you or a loved one directly, we would love to hear from you. Contact Michael Platt, Associate Director of Government Relations, at (800) 638-8299 extension 7047 or firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story or provide feedback on these issues.
AKF will continue its 2013 Kidney Action Day schedule next month with exciting events in Philadelphia (Friday, May 3) and Chicago (Saturday, May 11). Kidney Action Day is a free, fun-filled, family-friendly event with a serious purpose: helping people understand their risk for kidney disease and how to prevent it.
The American Kidney Fund’s 2013 Kidney Action Day schedule includes: