The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) sent a letter to Sen. John Kerry (D - Massachusetts) asking him to support a Medicare sponsored home hemodialysis program. AAKP is the largest kidney patient organization in the United States founded and directed by patients. AAKP is an organization dedicated to serving the needs, interests and welfare of all kidney patients and their families.

It is estimated 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease. Nearly 400,000 of those who suffer from kidney disease rely on dialysis to do the work their kidneys no longer perform. Unfortunately, the number of dialysis patients in the United States is expected to reach 520,000 by 2010 at a projected cost to Medicare of $26 billion. It is clear, renal replacement therapy needs to produce better outcomes.

Home hemodialysis may be a better treatment option for many patients but it is under-utilized. Only about 3,000 patients use home hemodialysis as a treatment even though the therapy is known to produce better patient outcomes, saves on cost and allow patients to take charge of their healthcare.

"We know more patients would like to take advantage of home hemodialysis, but current Medicare reimbursement discourages this lower cost option," says Kris Robinson, AAKP Executive Director/CEO. "That is why we are asking for Senator Kerry's support for a home hemodialysis pilot program in Medicare that would establish the benefits and lower costs of home dialysis."

To read AAKP's letter to Senator John Kerry, visit the AAKP Web site, aakp, and click on the "Public Policy" button.

AAKP is the voluntary, patient organization, which for more than 35 years, has been dedicated to improving the lives of fellow kidney patients and their families by helping them deal with the physical, emotional and social impact of kidney disease. The programs offered by AAKP inform and inspire patients and their families to better understand their condition, adjust more readily to their circumstances, and assume more normal, productive lives in their communities.

American Association of Kidney Patients

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