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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters September 27, 2016

8/24/2013 2:44:00 PM
Letter: Reimbursement cuts affect dialysis patients


Our team and patients at Cottonwood Dialysis recently had the honor of hosting Congressman Paul Gosar, who visited our facility to learn more about quality kidney care in our community.

During his visit, Congressman Gosar had the opportunity to meet some of our 50 dialysis patients, and saw first-hand the needs of patients in our community who rely on this life-saving dialysis care to survive.

Soon after his visit, however, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a 12 percent cut to reimbursements for dialysis. I am very concerned that these additional proposed cuts will have an enormously negative impact on our ability to provide quality dialysis care for our patients and the people of Cottonwood.

Dialysis facilities like ours have already absorbed other budget cuts, and reducing Medicare reimbursements for dialysis care by another $30 per treatment may be too costly for facilities to withstand without substantial changes. Some facilities may be forced to reduce operating hours, consolidate services, lower available staff, or close their doors altogether - all scenarios that would adversely impact patient access to the high quality care they require.

My patients and caregivers appreciated the opportunity to meet with Rep. Gosar. Considering this new proposal to cut reimbursements for dialysis by 12 percent, we want to encourage readers and advocates of kidney care to contact him to ensure that patient access to dialysis care is protected.

Betty Daugherty-Luttrell RN BSN

Facility Administrator

Cottonwood Dialysis Center

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013
Article comment by: Gee, the $30 per patient reduction may mean Dialysis Center may have to cut the CEO $$$

Here is an example of what I mean:

Take the profit out of health care and these CEO salaries will drop!

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013
Article comment by: HaHa HaHa

so how did your phone call to sebelius work out?
you did call with your moral outrage didn't you?

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ PH, re: What
I'm afraid Kathleen Sebelius is the only government official who could (specifically and directly) keep the Cottonwood Dialysis Center's federal funds from being cut. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010's revisions of Medicaid disbursements gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services sole discretion over which institutions will be affected by sequestration and/or other cuts. If she wants Cottonwood Dialysis Center to lose funding, it will. If she doesn't, it won't.

If you want to make an impassioned plea for leniency: Kathleen Sebelius is located at

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

or go to the website

You could also rail at those Arizona State legislators who are fighting Governor Jan Brewer's expansion of AHCCCS. If Arizona expands its Medicaid to PPAPA requirements, Ms. Sebelius would have less justification for targeting Arizona's medical institutions. Although as far as I can interpret it, she'd still be within the letter of this law.

Pressure on Paul Gosar is indirect, at best. He has no pull at Health and Human Services. Ms. Sebelius knows Republican Representatives are committed to blocking funding for the PPACA and knows he's a relative freshman with little influence with the RNC. You could add to the flurry, but he's probably got several bins marked "support for funding PPACA."

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

First do no harm.The Gov doesn't care.Just
like the VA,drag it out and the rolls will diminish
Politicians all.

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Article comment by: nutso fasst

I doubt Gosar has much clout with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services--an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services and hardly a bastion of tea partiers.

The CMS is in the Executive Branch. Complain to Obama.

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ Ms. D - L.

Mr. Gosar, with his silence and lack of performance, is merely presenting you the Neocon/Tea Party solution to the US Healthcare crisis: You are on your own, sisters and brothers.


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