Congressman Jason Smith authored and introduced legislation last week to remove barriers which limit medical providers’ ability to administer care for patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
ESRD patients typically spend many hours, multiple times a week receiving treatment in a dialysis facility. The Dialysis PATIENTS Act will streamline care for these patients and allow their medical care providers to deliver treatments for other medical needs while in the dialysis facility. Right now, in addition to multiple trips to dialysis facilities, patients must travel to separate locations to receive treatment for other health problems.
“It’s our job to make Americans’ lives easier,” said Congressman Smith. “With this legislation, we can improve the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable patients and keep them from having to make long trips to multiple facilities.”
The Dialysis PATIENTS Act will reduce costs associated with missed treatments by consolidating where patients get care. For example, while receiving dialysis for upwards of four hours, patients could be treated for everything from a common cold to complications from diabetes. Centralizing care will decrease the risk of infection and complications that result from having multiple doctors care for the same patients without talking to each other and coordinating treatment plans.
“One of the things I love about being from southern Missouri is how rural our area is, but I know that also makes it difficult for folks to get where they need to be sometimes,” said Congressman Smith. “People don’t usually realize this, but the part of Missouri I represent is bigger than the entire state of New Jersey and Massachusetts combined.”
Smith’s legislation has bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Original supporters of the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives include Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).