Dialysis patient petitions against CMS rule

Dialysis patient petitions against CMS rule

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Chronic kidney disease afflicts an estimated 31 million people or 10 percent of the adult population in the U.S. For those with kidney failure, dialysis treatments keep the body in balance removing waste, salt and extra water to help control blood pressure. 

Gary Dorsey, a Lubbock resident, was first diagnosed with kidney failure when he was 15-years-old. He immediately underwent dialysis treatments and has been for the past 23 years.

Dorsey goes to the dialysis center three times a week for three hours of treatment. It's a routine that keeps him alive, but has become complicated for him over the last year. In August of 2017 he became aware of a slight change to his dialysis treatment.

"I walked in and they told me that they weren't allowed to take off all the fluid and then they told me that the doctor wasn't allowed to override it," said Dorsey. "That irritated me that my own doctor couldn't give them the orders to take the amount of fluid." 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services enacted the 13 ml/kg/hr formula, essentially limiting the amount of fluid removal during a dialysis treatment. 

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, patients who receive hemodialysis have high rates of cardiac arrest, which could be related to the hemo-dynamic effects of rapid ultra-filtration. 

Dorsey agrees there should be a limit, but that should be determined by each patient and their doctor. 

"I think they should allow the doctors to treat their patients individually and I believe a one size fits all method is not going to work in the medical field," said Dorsey. "Even I got a tolerance of how much I can take off which is about 3.5 in a three hour period, which is way more than what they are limiting me to."

 Dorsey has shared his concerns about this new policy with both senator Cornyn and Cruz hoping to bring attention to this issue. He's also created an online petition hoping to change the current policy. 

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