Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Dialysis Therapy Passes Through Pivotal Committee
Today, Reps. Diane Black (R-TN-06), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA-07) praised movement on their bipartisan legislation, also co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), expanding access to home dialysis therapy under the Medicare program for patients with end stage renal disease. The bill, H.R. 3164, is included in the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 package that was marked up today by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
“The technological advancements in this field over the last decade have been tremendous and our seniors deserve access to this innovative care. Monitoring dialysis treatment through telehealth gives healthcare providers assurance that their patients are receiving the best possible treatment in the comfort of their own homes,” said Rep. Black. “As a nurse, I am proud to sponsor bipartisan legislation improving the quality of life for patients under Medicare across the country.”
“Allowing patients to receive dialysis at home can dramatically improve their health outcomes and quality of life. Advances in telehealth hold great potential to extend this treatment option to more Americans, particularly in rural communities,” said Rep. DelBene. “We must ensure our laws reflect these innovations by allowing Medicare to cover healthcare services provided through telehealth. As co-chair of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, I thank Congressman Black for working with me to introduce this legislation to break down barriers to home dialysis and unlock the promise of telehealth.”
“The expansion of telehealth services to individuals on home dialysis gives patients the benefit of more intensive care management. Remote monitoring will ensure that patients receive timely and appropriate care for end-stage renal disease and related illnesses. This is critical to keeping more patients safely in their homes and out of the hospital,” said Rep. Meehan.
H.R. 3164 would grant the reimbursement of telehealth services for beneficiaries in their homes, and allows end stage renal disease (ESRD) care providers to use telehealth for home dialysis monitoring. This provision would allow for necessary patient monitoring without additional trips to a provider’s office. The larger package addresses issues with the Medicare program aimed at improving patient experience and is offset by the use of funds in the Medicare Improvement Fund.
Click HERE to view the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178).