November 3, 2017

Senators Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Advance Treatment for Dialysis Patients

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the Dialysis Patient Access to Integrated-care, Empowerment, Nephrologists, and Treatment Services (PATIENTS) Demonstration Act, S.2065, which would deliver high-quality, integrated care to patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Currently, patients who receive dialysis to treat ESRD spend three days a week at a dialysis clinic, and still must make time for their other medical and social needs. The Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act would establish an ESRD integrated care demonstration program where interdisciplinary teams, led by a nephrologist, provide holistic management for all of the patient’s health care needs. The program would utilize the dialysis facility as a central command point for patients to access the coordinated health care services. This practical approach to care delivery would significantly improve health outcomes, reduce hospitalizations and readmissions, and increase quality of life for ESRD patients.

“With an estimated 650,000 Americans spending multiple days a week inside a dialysis clinic just to stay alive, it’s clear that better coordinated care is needed to improve patients’ quality of living. The Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act is an important step toward achieving this goal, and helping Hoosiers to live healthier and more active lives,” said Senator Young.

“The health problems associated with kidney disease often force Medicare patients to juggle multiple appointments and doctors. This bill will help improve these patients’ day-to-day lives by creating a one-stop shop where they can get the coordinated care they need,” said Senator Nelson. 

“Nevadans suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are among the sickest and most vulnerable patients on Medicare, and they often struggle with multiple chronic conditions and require unique care. I’m proud to work with my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan, patient-centered legislation that will help improve the lives of those living with ESRD, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives to get it across the finish line,” said Senator Heller.

“This bipartisan legislation would help the thousands of Coloradans making burdensome trips to a dialysis clinic to receive necessary care,” Senator Bennet said. “As we continue to think holistically about health care—from care coordination to quality of life—this legislation is a practical step to improving health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable patients.” 

The bill was also introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.).

Click here to view a one-pager on the bill.