Dialysis facilities across the country treat patients from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Patients who start dialysis have multiple health comorbidities, which may also be complicated by a history of mental health issues or socio economic problems. The Network works to assist facilities in successfully managing these patients by providing guidance, resources, and policy clarification especially if patients are at risk for an issue with access to care. From patients at risk for being involuntarily discharged, to patients being lost to follow up and discontinuing treatment, a patient’s access to care is becoming a more widespread issue with significant risks to our patient population.
The Network can provide guidance to facilities as they support patients through any one of these processes. Facilities can then take preventative measures to minimize the potential for patients to encounter access to care issues. Facilities should also closely review their own policies in working with these patients and some national resources like the Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC) Grievance Toolkit found at esrdnetworks.org, as well as the CMS Conditions for Coverage.