Advocating for dialysis patients is close to my heart
By Ramona Banks
September 1, 2020
(Community Reporter) - Since 2009, I have served as my father’s in-home caregiver as he undergoes dialysis treatments. In that time, we’ve had the incredible fortune of working with supportive and attentive medical staff who helped us as we learned about life with dialysis.
Because of this great medical care, my father was, until a recent amputation, able to maintain an active lifestyle as a pastor and enjoy his favorite outdoor activities like fishing. However, there was a lot of work involved for me early on in the process as his caregiver, including asking the right questions during appointments, managing medications, and ensuring each doctor had access to the information they needed.
While I was able to be there for my father, I know that not every dialysis patient is able to have a caregiver to help them manage their appointments, medications, and other major medical information. That’s why dialysis patients in Minnesota need Representative Betty McCollum and our other members of Congress to support a new bill called BETTER Kidney Care Act, which would allow all of a patient’s doctors to work together to share information and help their patients receive the high level of care they need.
When Congress previously tried to address coordinated care through the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act, it had immense support on both sides of the aisle, with more than 200 cosponsors. This is an issue Congress has shown they want to address and now is the opportunity to do it.
Advocating for dialysis patients is something that I hold close to my heart, and I want to be sure all patients have access to a well-coordinated treatment plan. The BETTER Kidney Care Act would be the best path toward achieving that.
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