Stansbury, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Improve Home Dialysis Patient Safety

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury

From the Office of U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.-01) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.-03) introduced the bipartisan Home Dialysis Risk Prevention Act, legislation to ensure patients with kidney disease undergoing home dialysis have access to devices to notify patients and caregivers of venous needle dislodgement (VND). VND is a preventable complication that can lead to kidney injury or death.

The Home Dialysis Risk Prevention Act provides Medicare coverage of monitoring devices to detect and alarm when a VND occurs during home dialysis for hemodialysis patients. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, 49,600 New Mexicans have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

“Dialysis saves lives. Each year, we tragically lose New Mexicans to chronic kidney disease and associated conditions—especially in our rural communities,” Rep. Stansbury said. “By increasing the accessibility of home-based dialysis treatment, we can save lives, increase patient comfort, and reduce health disparities. I am grateful to work with Representative Smith on this bipartisan legislation and look forward to partnering to pass this important bill.”

“As more and more patients receive care in the comfort of their homes, we must have the appropriate policies in place to ensure patient safety,” Rep. Smith said. “The Home Dialysis Risk Prevention Act will help improve safety for home dialysis patients by monitoring for venous needle dislodgement, a serious-but-preventable complication, and I thank Representative Stansbury for partnering with me on this important bill.”  

The legislation is supported by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP). AAKP released the following statement on the legislation: 

“AAKP is a longtime champion for greater care choice and access to home dialysis because it offers patients far greater flexibility to pursue their aspirations, including part-time or full-time work,” stated AAKP President Edward V. Hickey, III, USMC. “Patients, especially those performing dialysis at home without a caregiver, have identified venous needle dislodgement as a real risk to mitigate and a barrier to expanded home dialysis. AAKP offers our sincere gratitude, and full support, to Representatives Adrian Smith and Melanie Stansbury for listening keenly to patient insights and for developing bipartisan legislation that addresses their safety concerns through innovation and facilitates the wider use of home dialysis.” Hickey is a former senior Congressional aide and kidney patient who has served as a caregiver and support for family members and friends living on dialysis. 

The full text of the Home Dialysis Risk Prevention Act can be found here.

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