A viewer wrote to KidneyBuzz.com and said, "I am currently appealing the Department Of Human Services, in regards to a Spend Down (medical funds which may be reimbursed by Medicaid) for Dialysis. However, in their documents regarding Spend Down, they do not include the extra cost of electricity to run my Dialysis Machine at home. They do not include the extra cost for water either. Unfortunately, I am treated like a 'normal' individual who just walked off the street." This is not an uncommon issue which many Dialysis patients must face. However, a new Legislative Bill, may give direction for much needed policy to assist patients in affording Home Dialysis care.
There seems to be a growing interest in Home Hemodialysis among Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients because they avoid having to go to a Dialysis Facility three (3) times a week for treatments that are typically four (4) hours long. Studies have also shown that Home Hemodialysis offers: Lower risk of death, less stress on the heart, better blood pressure control with fewer medications, much quicker recovery time after treatment, improved appetite and the ability to drink more, fewer depressive symptoms, better mental and physical health, more energy and vitality, feeling of being in control of treatment and life, and a better ability to travel.
Yet, since water and electricity bills can add up, the hidden costs associated with Home Hemodialysis prevent many patients from pursuing the treatment option. Those who decide to conduct Hemodialysis at home are stuck with an expensive monthly utility bill and offered no support to offset expenses.
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A Medicaid "Spend Down" program can be used when a Chronic Kidney Disease or Dialysis patient's income is a little too high to qualify for Medicaid Coverage, but a patient still needs assistance for medical expenses. While this program assists some patients with medication and hospital bills, it does not assist with hidden costs associated with Hemodialysis at home. Thus, how can Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis afford home treatments?
Well, the Canadian Province, Manitoba, has a terrific and simple solution, "the Province will reimburse Home Dialysis patients for their extra utility costs." Repayment will be based on utility use during scheduled Dialysis and on the type of machine used. Most would agree with a common sense policy such as the one administered in Canada to help the over 600,000 Dialysis patients across the United States afford their preferred treatment. Would you agree with such a policy?
If so, sign the below petition which will be sent to the American Association of Kidney Patients, National Kidney Foundation and Congressional Kidney Caucus to advocate for a similar policy to be established in the United States. No matter what type of Dialysis a Chronic Kidney Disease patient currently conducts, they should support this initiative so that they can have the ability to take part in any Dialysis Treatment option regardless of their financial background.
Canadian Politician, Sharon Blady, said about the new reimbursement policy, "We hope these new supports will encourage more patients to undergo Hemodialysis treatment in the comfort of their own home and enjoy a better quality of life." Sign, Like, and Share the below petition with your Friends and Family and encourage them to do the same.
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