An updated message for patients on 1/25/17
We’re pleased to report that a federal judge has agreed to stop the implementation of a new regulation that would have harmed our patients. The rule would have limited the charitable assistance some patients receive to help pay their insurance premiums and interfered with our patients’ ability to choose either private or public insurance options, depending on their individual needs and preferences.
An updated message for patients on 1/12/17
We’re pleased to report that a federal judge in Texas has
agreed to temporarily postpone the implementation of the Interim Final Rule,
which was scheduled to take effect on January 13, 2017. This is a positive step
for our patients. There are still legal issues that must be addressed and we
will continue to update you with any new information.
Dear patients and families,
At U.S. Renal Care, your health and welfare are our primary concern. When something stands in the way of our patients receiving the health care they need, we are ready to act.
That’s why I’m letting you know that we took steps today to stand up for our patients who receive crucial financial help to pay their health insurance premiums.
U.S. Renal Care went to court to stop the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from implementing a policy change that would harm these patients. Other major dialysis providers and a leading patient advocacy group are also participating with us in this important legal effort.
On December 13, 2016, CMS released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that would enable insurers to deny health care coverage to financially struggling patients on dialysis who accept assistance from charities to help pay their insurance premiums. Dialysis is an expensive treatment, and many of our patients can’t afford the critical health care without financial help. Although the IFR would directly apply only to patients enrolled in individual private insurance plans purchased on HealthCare.gov or similar state insurance exchanges – not patients enrolled in traditional Medicare, MediGap plans, or private employer / group health plans – any new government restriction on our patients’ health insurance coverage raises our concern.
Charity assistance has helped thousands of dialysis patients over the last two decades without controversy. Yet CMS has rushed to change the rules in the last days of the outgoing administration.
The new regulations, which are scheduled to take effect on January 13, will endanger patient safety and freedom of choice and impose burdensome new requirements on our facilities.
Regardless of the result of our legal effort, we hope to engage with CMS to resolve our many concerns with the rules.
Please do not hesitate to contact your U.S. Renal Care facility administrator if you have any questions regarding your care or your insurance coverage. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.
J. Christopher Brengard
Chief Executive Officer
U.S. Renal Care