Dear patients, relatives of patients and friends
On February 27th Jim McDermott (D) together with 16 co-sponsors introduced HR 1004, the Kidney Patient Daily Dialysis Quality Act of 2003. The wording is the same as the bill in the last Congress and covers both short daily and long nightly dialysis both at home and in a center.
Now is the time for you to call to speak to your Congressional Representative or their Health Aide, both in their local and their Washington offices, and urge them to support this bill by co-sponsoring HR 1004. Follow up with an email or fax. If you wish, you might try doing the same with other Representatives from your state. Also, please ask your family members and friends who live in your state or other states to do the same with their Representatives. Do not send a letter by regular mail as this may take weeks to get through because of security.
In your own words, stress the numerous patient benefits of daily dialysis that include many fewer symptoms during and between dialyses, much better quality of life in every way, greater opportunity for rehabilitation, fewer days in hospital, the need for less of the expensive drug, EPO and the reduction or elimination of the need for drugs to treat high blood pressure. Any personal experiences you can describe would be wonderful.
Point out that the extra costs of doing more frequent dialysis are more than offset by the considerable cost savings from fewer days in hospital and less EPO use. The number of dialysis patient is expected to double in the next 10 years, meaning a need for a lot of new dialysis units, and the nursing shortage will not go away. Home dialysis and less costly and better treatments therefore will become more and more important.
Above all, emphasize the many improvements in patient well being.
More than 300 reports worldwide all say the same good things about this treatment.
Please let us know who you have contacted and their response.
Timing is critical. We need as many co-sponsors of HR 1004 as we can get if it is to have a chance of passage this year.
If you have questions also feel free to email either of us.
Christopher R. Blagg MD Robert S. Lockridge MD