Press Releases

DelBene, Miller, Cárdenas, Bucshon Urge Medicare to Expand Access to Home Dialysis

Lawmakers are pushing for CMS to expand home dialysis for Medicare beneficiaries with acute kidney injury to improve health outcomes and quality of life

Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Carol Miller (WV-01), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand access to home dialysis for Americans on Medicare.

In a letter, the lawmakers urged Medicare to expand coverage for home dialysis to Medicare patients at risk of or currently diagnosed with acute kidney injury (AKI) in the agency’s final 2024 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system rule.

“We strongly urge Medicare to do all in its power to expand access to home dialysis, including for AKI patients,” the lawmakers wrote. “Increasing access and improving outcomes for AKI patients is especially important because these patients have the potential to recover kidney function and avoid permanent kidney failure requiring years of dialysis or transplant.”

AKI treatment often requires a hospital stay during which patients receive dialysis with the hopes of regaining kidney function. A high percentage of ICU patients, including 20-40% with COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic, developed AKI and required emergency dialysis.

While Medicare covers both in-center and home dialysis for people with kidney failure, AKI patients currently can only access in-center dialysis, leaving thousands without the option of dialyzing at home. Home dialysis for AKI would allow patients to receive care in a more comfortable setting, have more control over their schedules, and potentially avoid their condition worsening to kidney failure that requires permanent dialysis or transplant.

The letter can be found here.