Home Hemodialysis Patients Urge Medicare to Fix HHD Training Reimbursement
by PR Newswire
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Kidney Month, current and former dialyzors with Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way for a Better Life , a NxStage Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTM) sponsored project, gathered in Washington, D.C. today to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers limiting access to home hemodialysis (HHD). Specifically, the group urged CMS to fix its current payment policy to provide adequate reimbursement for the up-front costs associated with HHD training.
"Home hemodialysis works. It gives me the freedom and flexibility to live a more normal life on dialysis," said Kathe Lebeau, a patient currently doing HHD with the NxStage® System One™ who made the trip to D.C. "Unfortunately, access to HHD is severely limited today with less than 2% of patients doing HHD. We are asking CMS to give more patients access to HHD by updating its current payment structure to provide adequate reimbursement for HHD training. It's a simple fix that would make a big difference for dialysis patients across the country."
While in D.C., the group met with their elected representatives as well as CMS representatives to discuss the benefits of HHD and barriers that are limiting access for patients. The group asked for help in making sure those barriers are removed.
This 'call to action' comes just days after Reps. Jim McDermott and Tom Marino sent letters to Congressional representatives urging them to sign onto a bi-partisan letter asking Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to update home hemodialysis training payments. In their letter, the Congressional Kidney Caucus co-chairs said, "dialysis patients should be aware of and have access to the treatment option that they and their physicians think best."
In recent years, peer reviewed articles have reported on the clinical and quality of life benefits, and lower mortality experienced by patients on more frequent home hemodialysis when compared with three-times-weekly in-center therapy. The literature strongly supports the meaningful benefits possible with more frequent home hemodialysis. Yet, many patients aren't adequately informed about all of their treatment options and more than 90% of patients undergoing dialysis in the United States are doing three-times-weekly in-center therapy. That's despite the fact that in a recent survey, more than 90% of nephrologists said they would choose home dialysis over in-center dialysis for themselves or a family member, with HHD being the preferred option.
Supporters of Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For a Better Life are actively urging CMS to update its current payment structure to provide adequate reimbursement for the up-front costs associated with HHD training to expand patient access to HHD.
About Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For a Better Life
Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For A Better Life brings together dialyzors, care partners, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and other renal professionals from across the country who believe patients need to have better access to and more awareness of the improved quality of life reported to be made possible by home dialysis technology. Hemodialysis at Home: A Better Way For A Better Life is a project of NxStage Medical, Inc. For more information, please visit www.HemoAtHome.org.
About the NxStage System One
The NxStage System One is the first and only truly portable hemodialysis system cleared for home use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The System One also has a CE mark and has been cleared by Health Canada. Its simplicity and revolutionary size (just over a foot tall) provide convenient use in patients' homes and give patients the freedom to travel with their therapy. Unlike conventional hemodialysis systems, the System One requires no special infrastructure to operate. Under the guidance of their physician, patients can use the NxStage System One, with their trained partners, where, how and when it best meets their needs, at home or on the road.
About NxStage Medical
NxStage is a medical device company, headquartered in Lawrence, MA, USA, which develops, manufactures, and markets innovative systems for the treatment of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and acute kidney failure. The System One home hemodialysis device developed by NxStage is the only FDA approved portable hemodialysis machine cleared for home use. For more information on NxStage, or NxStage products, visit, http://www.nxstage.com.
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this release that are not clearly historical in nature are forward-looking, and the words "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "estimate," "plan," and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including those that are discussed in NxStage's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. NxStage is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Kristen K. Sheppard, Esq.
VP, Investor Relations
SOURCE NxStage Medical, Inc.