By Christin Kwasny, Executive Director of NKF Serving Philadelphia/Delaware Valley & Erin L. Tuladzieck, MS, Executive Director of NKF Serving the Alleghenies
During March, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) was informed about proposed cuts to Pennsylvania’s Chronic Renal Disease Program (CRDP). The approximate 80% reduction to CRDP’s budget would impact an estimated 7,000 dialysis and kidney transplant patients across the state who rely on this program.
CRDP fills gaps in coverage that otherwise would threaten the health of low-income dialysis and transplant patients. The services provided to those who are eligible include reimbursement for transportation to dialysis, prescription drug coverage – including post-transplant immunosuppressant drug coverage – and medical coverage as a payor of last resort for patients who cannot obtain assistance through Medicaid or other secondary insurance.
Last month, in response to a request from NKF, nearly 300 advocates from across Pennsylvania wrote, Tweeted, or called their state lawmakers and the governor’s office to support restoration of CRDP funding. On March 28th, NKF’s Philadelphia office organized a meeting with the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Hagarty, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Planning Meg Snead, Dr. Joel Glickman from UPENN, social worker Tabitha Semancik, and an NKF representative. The governor’s representatives listened to the importance of CRDP and were educated about kidney disease and potential consequences of missed dialysis or missed medication.
NKF will continue to educate the governor’s staff, the state legislature, and activate kidney disease advocates to continue to pressure the Pennsylvania government to protect funding for this vital kidney disease assistance program. If you live in Pennsylvania and have not already written to support this important program of last resort for kidney patients, please take a moment to send them a message of support.
Curious about the Pennsylvania’s Chronic Renal Disease Program (CRDP)? See this fact sheet.