My colleagues and I recently had the pleasure to host a member of Senator Heinrich's staff at Four Corners Dialysis, located in Farmington, New Mexico.
We had the opportunity to introduce Senator Heinrich's staff member to some of the 223 patients Four Corners Dialysis cares for and show him first-hand the needs of patients in our community who rely on life-saving dialysis care to survive.
However, despite the critical care we provide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a 12 percent cut to reimbursements for dialysis on July 1.
Such a drastic cut will undoubtedly have a severe and negative impact on our ability to provide quality care for patients in Farmington. Medicare funding for dialysis already falls short of covering the full cost of these treatments, and reducing payments by another $30 per treatment may be too costly for some facilities to withstand without substantial changes.
Our community is no stranger to funding cuts; dialysis facilities such as ours have already absorbed repeated budget cuts over the past few years. Even so, dialysis centers across the country have continued to provide the best healthcare possible under added financial constraints.
If the proposed rule is passed, new cuts may force some facilities to reduce operating hours, consolidate services, or close their doors altogether – all of which will affect patients' access to the high quality care they require.
My patients, caregivers and staff are deeply grateful to Senator Heinrich's staff for taking the time to visit our facility and want to encourage readers to contact Senator Heinrich to ensure that patient access to dialysis care is not harmed.
Joyce Hachadourian, ACSW, LISW
Regional Point Social Worker
Four Corners Dialysis