The American Kidney Fund is a leading United States non-profit working on behalf of the 31 million Americans with Chronic Kidney Disease, especially Dialysis patients. However, an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office into how the fund allocates its annual over $212.6 million contributions is gaining a lot of interest by Dialysis patients and others in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community alike. To add to the intrigue, the largest Dialysis organizations in the United States - DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care - have also been named in the investigation.
The New York Times reported that the American Kidney Fund shows favor in approving applications from patients for premium/insurance assistance to Dialysis Organizations who have paid into the American Kidney Fund's Health Insurance Premium Program including DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care.
Beyond the fact that this would leave many patients at a severe disadvantage and would be incredibly unfair, it is also a blatant (very obvious) violation of the federal agreement that set up the program over 20 years ago. According to Federal Regulations, the American Kidney Fund is required to offer premium assistance to all qualified patients regardless of whether their provider had paid into the program.
Although the American Kidney Fund has denied these claims, the New York Times cited comments from social workers at small Dialysis Clinics who said they were discouraged to even have patients apply for the premium assistance fund because their providers had not contributed to the assistance program.
In a statement a representative of the fund said, “We never condition our issuing of grants on whether a provider has contributed, and fully 40% of Dialysis Providers with patients receiving help from American Kidney Fund don’t contribute anything to the American Kidney Fund."
Recommended Reading: Skipping and Shortening Dialysis Treatment: A Chronic Kidney Patient Perspective
Still, Dialysis patients who have been turned down by the American Kidney Fund in the past may consider reapplying, given this investigation. Also, patients who have not applied for necessary insurance coverage assistance or have been discouraged from applying for the American Kidney Fund program should click here to begin the process as need.
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