Patients speak out on plan to reduce Medicare reimbursement for - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Patients speak out on plan to reduce Medicare reimbursement for dialysis

Posted: Updated:
(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Cameron ferry back in service

    Cameron ferry back in service

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:11 AM EDT2014-07-30 10:11:06 GMT
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
  • BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:42 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:42:19 GMT
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
  • CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:38:11 GMT
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

There's a plan to reduce Medicare reimbursement for kidney dialysis treatments.

Those cuts could jeopardize the availability of care.

About 85 people go to Davita each week to undergo life-saving dialysis.    

But a proposed decrease in how much Medicare will pay providers like Davita could jeopardize that care.

Several patients gathered to meet with Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany. They are afraid of what will happen if Medicare payments to Davita are reduced.

Patsy James, dialysis patient, said, "Where are the people supposed to go? And then those who already have to get medical transportation, to get there. How are they going to get transportation because Medicare and Medicaid don't even much want to pay them to go to Iowa and pick up somebody? So, this would be a very, very huge problem."

"It's a must. It's a must for us. Without it, we're doing to die. So, this is a very serious problem," said Beverly Jacob, patient.

As a heart surgeon, Boustany well knows the serious nature of kidney failure and the need for dialysis.

"It can be very life threatening. Even with dialysis, it can be very tricky. If you don't have dialysis treatment with kidney failure, your time is marked," Boustany said.

Boustany is fighting Medicare bureaucracy, hoping to prevent the reduction.

"I signed a letter along with other members of Congress weighing in on this saying, 'Look. This is going to cause a problem. Don't do it.' And I think others are weighing in on it as well. We're hopeful the Medicare administrators will not do this because it will cause problems here," he said.

Debbie Wolfe with Davita said less reimbursement will force them to cut services.

"Currently, at 35 percent of our facilities across the nation, the Medicare rate reimbursed today does not cover the cost of the care. So, any cut on top of that would be drastic and create significant problems and issues with our ability to continue care as we are today," she said.

Wolfe said cuts tend to hurt smaller, rural facilities used by fewer people.

For more information from Davita, click HERE.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow