Identifies vulnerabilities of dialysis patient anemia management
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dialysis Patient Citizens' (DPC) Annual Membership Survey, conducted in June by global market research firm Ipsos, found that hemoglobin values appear to be stabilizing for a majority of its members over the past year at an average of 10.3 g/dL. However, 22 percent of survey respondents had lower hemoglobin values this year than last. This is of concern because 20 percent of that group needed blood transfusions in the past year to combat anemia. For these patients, an average of three blood transfusions was required within the last twelve months. Of that same 22 percent who had lower hemoglobin levels, 11 percent visited a hospital emergency room in the last year for treatment of anemia.
"While it is encouraging to see hemoglobin levels stabilizing in a majority of dialysis patients, DPC remains concerned by the fact that 22% of our members report hemoglobin levels that continue to decline," said Hrant Jamgochian, executive director of DPC. "Our mission is to improve patient quality of life, so we are troubled by the fact that so many of these patients require an average of three transfusions per year and that half of these patients needed at least one visit to the emergency room."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) pay-for-performance program for End Stage Renal Disease continues to propose measures to discourage the overutilization of red blood cell stimulating agents (or ESA's). In fact, the newest proposal seeks to add a patient informed consent measure, which some have criticized as potentially scaring patients by singling out one product when patients should be informed of the risks and benefits of all potential treatments. "While DPC shares CMS' commitment to patient safety, we encourage the Agency to focus on ensuring patient access to ESA's and urge the Agency to identify a lower value hemoglobin measurement in its Quality Improvement Program," added Jamgochian.
About Dialysis Patient Citizens
With more than 26,000 dialysis and pre-dialysis patients making up our membership, DPC is working to improve the quality of life for all dialysis patients through education and advocacy. We are a nationwide, nonprofit, patient-led dialysis organization with membership open only to dialysis and pre-dialysis patients and their families. Our policies and our mission are guided solely by our membership.
DPC is a 501(c)(4) organization governed by dialysis patients.
ContactHrant Jamgochian, J.D., LL.M.Executive DirectorDialysis Patient Citizens122 C Street NW, Suite 510Washington, DC 20001Phone: 202-789-6933Toll free: 866-877-4242FAX: 202-789-6935Dialysis Patient Citizens
Web site: http://www.dialysispatients.org//
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