Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients feel that at times they are simply a number on a conveyer belt to Dialysis Centers rather than an individual that is in need of quality care. Others fear that Dialysis Organizations see them as means to make money instead of a human being. While, many Dialysis Organizations do their best with fixed resources and employees, when an apparent scheme by a significant Dialysis Organization to take advantage of Dialysis patients had to be settled and stopped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit, many patients may feel like their deepest fears may in fact be true.
According to the suit the Dialysis Organization, American Renal (treats more than 13,000 patients with End-Stage Renal Disease each year), convinced Chronic Kidney Disease Patients conducting Dialysis to switch to Commercial Health Insurance Plans, even though their Dialysis Treatments were already covered by Medicare or Medicaid. By having patients switch to private insurance they would be reimbursed as much as $4,000.00 - significantly higher than the $200.00 to $300.00 paid by Medicare or Medicaid for the same treatments, the lawsuit stated.
However, Dialysis patients could have been stuck having to pay much higher and otherwise avoidable co-pays and deductibles. The suit alleges the scheme violated Anti-Kickback Laws.
American Renal settled the four-million-dollar lawsuit without admitting guilt and released a statement saying that the suit was “without merit." Although unfortunate, this matter highlights an important point for Dialysis patients to always seek a second opinion before making any drastic changes to their insurance plans. Contact Social Security and Medicare to ensure that any additional insurance is necessary and helpful. If it is too much of a burden to contact the agencies then consider asking a family member or close friend to follow up on your behalf.
Recommended Reading: Large Dialysis Organization Settles With The Department Of Justice
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