Alonzo Mourning joins Congressional Kidney Caucus, Kidney Community to discuss future of kidney care


Seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning joined with representatives of Kidney Care Partners (KCP), a broad-based coalition and leading voice of the kidney community, on Capitol Hill to announce significant improvements in patient care outcomes and urge Congress to maintain its commitment to dialysis patients by refraining from enacting any additional funding cuts or further restructuring the Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) benefit.

Mourning, a member of the 2006 NBA championship Miami Heat team, received a kidney transplant in 2003 after being diagnosed with Focal Glomerulosclerosis, a degenerative kidney disease, in 2000.

Mourning returned to the NBA following his transplant and has since been an advocate for kidney patients nationwide. Mourning has partnered with KCP on several advocacy efforts to improve kidney patients’ quality of care and quality of life.

At the educational briefing sponsored by the Congressional Kidney Caucus, Mourning and KCP members told lawmakers that any additional cuts to the Medicare ESRD benefit would be ill-advised and could negatively affect the future of kidney care at a time when the community is making measurable improvements in improving survival while still implementing a new bundled payment system and grappling with previously imposed cuts.

Today, more than 31 million Americans are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which if left untreated, can ultimately progress to kidney failure.

About 415,000 patients aren’t fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant and rely on life-saving dialysis care three times per week for three to four hours each time to filter toxins from their blood.

In addition to dialysis, they receive nursing care, medications, lab work, nutritional support and other important services.

Because of the unique and incurable nature of this disease, and the necessity of care to survive, the Medicare benefit for end-stage renal disease was implemented in 1972 and covers the cost of dialysis care at a relatively low cost for all Americans who need it – regardless of age or income.

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