DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Sent By:
Steven.Schultz@mail.house.gov

Leadership Letter Supporting Dialysis Patients and Providers During COVID-19 Pandemic

To Cosign: Use This Form

Deadline: COB tomorrow, April 17

Current cosigners (13): Sheila Jackson Lee, Gallego, Neguse, Clay, Van Drew, Velazquez, Beatty, Norcross, Richmond, McGovern, O’Halleran, Fitzpatrick, John Larson

 

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in a letter to House leadership urging the inclusion of dialysis patient and provider relief in the upcoming coronavirus relief package. Several of the largest dialysis treatment providers currently deliver dialysis services for over half
a million Americans, with that number growing each year. This request is especially prudent in light of media reports that COVID-19 may significantly affect kidney function and a number of patients suffering from COVID-19 are on dialysis, straining supplies
of dialysis fluids. 

Many Americans must travel outside their homes for dialysis treatment and can potentially become exposed to COVID-19 in the process. Being a dialysis patient myself, I have unique firsthand knowledge of this. As states and cities impose stay-at-home orders,
public transportation options are becoming more difficult and medically risky for patients. These Americans simply do not have the luxury of being able to socially distance until the pandemic is over. 

In addition to patients being at risk for COVID-19 infection, the front-line personnel at dialysis provider centers are also putting themselves in harm’s way to care for this vulnerable population.  There has been anecdotal evidence of dialysis centers running
dangerously low on personal protective equipment (PPE).  They need the proper amount of PPE to ensure that they do not become infected and do not spread infection to an already vulnerable population.

Finally, Congress should help dialysis patients who may be experiencing economic hardships because of this pandemic. At least one nonprofit organization, the American Kidney Fund, has set up an emergency fund for patient financial assistance that has been
rapidly exhausted due to overwhelming demand. Other non-profit organizations will certainly do the same and will need financial assistance to continue supporting dialysis patients and other vulnerable patient populations.

Congress must take action to help this already vulnerable population. If you would like to sign on to this letter, please use
this form.  If you have any questions, please contact Steven Schultz of my staff at
Steven.Schultz@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

 

Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Member of Congress

 

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: 

As work begins on a fourth coronavirus legislative package, we write to strongly urge you to include emergency assistance for dialysis patients and dialysis care providers.  Several of the largest dialysis treatment providers currently deliver dialysis services
for over half a million Americans, with that number growing each year. 

As you are aware, many Americans must travel outside their homes for dialysis treatment and can potentially become exposed to COVID-19 in the process.  Individuals on dialysis must receive their treatments at least three times a week or they run the risk
of serious medical complications, including death. As states and cities impose stay-at-home orders, public transportation options are becoming more difficult and medically risky for patients. We urge you to look at relief options regarding transportation to
help those who may not be able to access or afford alternative options. These Americans simply do not have the luxury of being able to socially distance until the pandemic is over. 

Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is also critical for the safety of patients and the front-line workers.  There are reports of dialysis centers running out of PPE and the situation will likely worsen.  This lack of PPE, coupled with dialysis
patients having to travel for treatment, creates a potential scenario for widespread infection in the dialysis community and the general public. We urge you to take this need into consideration when determining PPE assistance to non-hospital but also critically
important health delivery systems.

The consequences of rampant COVID-19 infection among the already vulnerable dialysis community are immediately apparent and serious. An additional step we encourage you to consider would be direct financial assistance to support Americans who receive dialysis
treatments. The last thing these patients need to encounter now is the accumulation of medical bills and other debts because of the economic impact they are facing.  At least one nonprofit organization, the American Kidney Fund, has set up an emergency fund
for patient financial assistance that has been rapidly exhausted due to overwhelming demand. We are certain other non-profit organizations will do the same and will need financial assistance to continue supporting dialysis patients and other vulnerable patient
populations.

Congress can and should help the dialysis community in its time of great need. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.

 

Sincerely,

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare

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