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October 2011

 

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your commitment to the American Kidney Fund’s Advocacy Network!  As an AKF Advocate, you have the opportunity to join with others to make a difference in the lives of all kidney patients.

This month we are excited to highlight our new national campaign, Pair Up, which empowers women to protect themselves and the ones they love from kidney disease. We also encourage you to join us in taking action to prevent cuts to Medicare that could disproportionately impact kidney patients.

With the help of our dedicated advocates, the American Kidney Fund will have a strong voice with legislators and policymakers whose decisions affect people living with kidney disease.

From all of us at the American Kidney Fund, thank you for your time and dedication! 

Sincerely,

Nikia Okoye
Director of Government Relations

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Pair Up

American Kidney Fund Launches Pair Up Campaign

On September 22 at Times Square in New York City, the American Kidney Fund launched Pair Up—a new national campaign empowering women to protect themselves, and the people they love, from kidney disease.  Pair Up encourages women to join the fight against kidney disease by taking two simple actions: (1) Learn if they’re at risk for kidney disease, and (2) Spread the word about kidney disease to friends and loved ones who also may be at risk.  Visit PairUpNow.org to learn more about our exciting new campaign and read the stories of people like you who are involved in the fight against kidney disease.
 
Get in the Pair Up spirit by by encouraging a friend or loved one to become an American Kidney Fund Advocate.  Everyone can sign up at http://www.kidneyfund.org/pair-up/act/advocacy/

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Take Action

Take Action: Join AKF in Preventing Cuts to Medicare

The recently formed Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (commonly referred to as the Super Committee) is working to identify $1.2 trillion in savings from the federal budget by the end of the year.  If the Super Committee fails to reach this goal, automatic cuts will be triggered throughout the federal government, including an across-the-board reduction in Medicare by up to two percent.

The American Kidney Fund has joined with the kidney care community to urge the Super Committee to protect the Medicare ESRD Benefit from harmful cuts, and has proposed logical cost-saving solutions that would both reduce Medicare costs and protect kidney patients’ access to quality, affordable health coverage.
 
As an American Kidney Fund Advocate, your voice is critical in helping prevent harmful cuts to Medicare.  Visit the Kidney Care Partners Advocacy Center to learn more about the cost-saving proposals from the kidney care community, and enter your zip code to send letters to your representatives in Congress urging them to protect Medicare’s ESRD Benefit and the kidney patients it serves.

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AKF Comments on Health Care

AKF Comments on Health Insurance Exchange Regulations

The American Kidney Fund recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed regulations for the establishment of health insurance exchanges.  Health insurance exchanges, created by the Affordable Care Act, will serve as marketplaces for consumers to compare health insurance options within their state and region, and determine eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid (as well as premium assistance).  The exchanges are scheduled to take effect in 2014.

The American Kidney Fund is focused on ensuring that kidney patients have adequate access to affordable coverage in an exchange.  For more information on AKF’s specific concerns, read our recent comment letter to CMS (PDF).  We will continue to monitor this issue; further regulations will be released in the coming months.

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Mayor Julián Castro

Kidney Action Day Recaps:  San Antonio and Houston

In October, the American Kidney Fund hosted two Kidney Action Day events in the State of Texas.  Each event featured the American Kidney Fund’s Steps that Count fundraising walk, along with free kidney health screenings and cooking and fitness demonstrations.

On Saturday, October 1, the American Kidney Fund hosted Kidney Action Day at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.  Mayor Julián Castro gave passionate opening remarks about the importance of kidney disease awareness and early detection, and proclaimed October 1, 2011 to be Kidney Action Day in the City of San Antonio.

On Sunday, October 16, 2011 the American Kidney Fund hosted Kidney Action Day at the Discovery Green in Houston.  State Representative Garnet Coleman, along with representatives from the City of Houston’s Health and Human Services Department and the Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, joined the American Kidney Fund to help raise awareness of kidney disease in the City of Houston.

Thank you to all of our new Advocates who signed up in San Antonio and Houston.  We look forward to working with you to advocate on behalf of kidney patients and their families.

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 Cash

Has The Bundle Impacted You?

A recent study analyzed hemodialysis treatments in the months leading up to, and immediately following, the implementation of the new Medicare ESRD bundled payment system in January.  One of a few noticeable areas of change was in anemia management, including a small decrease in average hemoglobin levels among hemodialysis patients and changes to the amounts of anemia management drugs prescribed and administered.

The American Kidney Fund continues to monitor the implementation of the “bundle”—a new system in which Medicare provides a single payment to dialysis facilities to cover all the costs associated with a dialysis treatment.  The bundled payment includes anemia management drugs, which previously were separately billed to Medicare.

We are always interested in learning more about how changes in federal policy are impacting our patient-advocates.  To share your story, contact Michael Platt, Government Relations Assistant, at mplatt@kidneyfund.org or toll-free at (800) 638-8299.

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 Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

The American Kidney Fund will host Kidney Action Day at Turner Field in Atlanta on Saturday, November 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring free health screenings, fitness demonstrations, healthy cooking demonstrations, and many more activities for the whole family.
 
Kidney Action Day features our fundraising walkathon, Steps that Count. To register for Steps that Count, please visit www.stepsthatcount.org.

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Feedback

We Want Your Feedback

The American Kidney Fund is committed to providing our Advocates timely information about the American Kidney Fund, its advocacy efforts, and federal policies and legislation that impact kidney patients and their families.  If you would like further information on a federal regulation or federal legislation, or have feedback on the content of our Advocacy newsletter, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact Michael Platt, Government Relations Assistant, at mplatt@kidneyfund.org or call toll free at (800) 638-8299, and don’t forget to encourage your family and friends to sign up as AKF Advocates!

 

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