Rep. Porter Slams American Kidney Fund for Abandoning California Dialysis Patients
Congresswoman leads Senate and House colleagues in advocating for dialysis patients in the Golden State
Washington, DC, December 10, 2019
Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) led her California congressional colleagues in demanding that the American Kidney Fund (AKF) reconsider its decision to abandon patients it supports in the state. Rep. Porter, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Kamala Harris, and 12 additional Representatives for California, requested that AKF provide a pathway forward for the patients they are leaving behind and asked that they take the necessary steps to ensure that vulnerable dialysis patients aren’t harmed.
“The American Kidney Fund’s unnecessary decision to leave our state and abandon the patients they support puts lives at risk,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Protecting California patients is one of my top priorities in Congress, and for dialysis patients, a short gap in coverage or care can be devastating, if not life-threatening.”
AKF currently pays health insurance premiums for 3,700 enrollees across California. In July, Rep. Porter wrote a letter to a federal healthcare watchdog requesting oversight of this program after hearing complaints that patients were being pushed toward more expensive insurance options to increase dialysis center profits.
The California legislature had similar concerns and recently passed legislation requiring new transparency and reporting requirements for the dialysis industry and patient assistance programs. AKF has claimed that this legislation forces them to stop providing patient supports in the state; however, California’s Department of Managed Health Care determined that AKF could choose to continue providing assistance in California.
This week’s letter is the third Rep. Porter has led requesting oversight and support for dialysis patients in California. In addition to her initial July letter, she called on the Trump Administration in September to consider the impact of both current and future policies on vulnerable populations receiving dialysis treatment.