WASHINGTON, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Kidney Month, current and former dialyzors with Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way for a Better Life , a NxStage Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTM) sponsored project, gathered in Washington, D.C. today to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers limiting access to home hemodialysis (HHD). Specifically, the group urged CMS to fix its current payment policy to provide adequate reimbursement for the up-front costs associated with HHD training.
"Home hemodialysis works. It gives me the freedom and flexibility to live a more normal life on dialysis," said Kathe Lebeau, a patient currently doing HHD with the NxStage® System One™ who made the trip to D.C. "Unfortunately, access to HHD is severely limited today with less than 2% of patients doing HHD. We are asking CMS to give more patients access to HHD by updating its current payment structure to provide adequate reimbursement for HHD training. It's a simple fix that would make a big difference for dialysis patients across the country."
While in D.C., the group met with their elected representatives as well as CMS representatives to discuss the benefits of HHD and barriers that are limiting access for patients. The group asked for help in making sure those barriers are removed.This 'call to action' comes just days after Reps. Jim McDermott and Tom Marino sent letters to Congressional representatives urging them to sign onto a bi-partisan letter asking Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to update home hemodialysis training payments. In their letter, the Congressional Kidney Caucus co-chairs said, "dialysis patients should be aware of and have access to the treatment option that they and their physicians think best." In recent years, peer reviewed articles have reported on the clinical and quality of life benefits, and lower mortality experienced by patients on more frequent home hemodialysis when compared with three-times-weekly in-center therapy. The literature strongly supports the meaningful benefits possible with more frequent home hemodialysis. Yet, many patients aren't adequately informed about all of their treatment options and more than 90% of patients undergoing dialysis in the United States are doing three-times-weekly in-center therapy. That's despite the fact that in a recent survey, more than 90% of nephrologists said they would choose home dialysis over in-center dialysis for themselves or a family member, with HHD being the preferred option. Supporters of Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For a Better Life are actively urging CMS to update its current payment structure to provide adequate reimbursement for the up-front costs associated with HHD training to expand patient access to HHD. About Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For a Better Life Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For A Better Life brings together dialyzors, care partners, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and other renal professionals from across the country who believe patients need to have better access to and more awareness of the improved quality of life reported to be made possible by home dialysis technology. Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For A Better Life is a project of NxStage Medical, Inc. For more information, please visit www.HemoAtHome.org. About the NxStage System One