The newly introduced Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act will be the subject of a Congressional subcommittee hearing this Wednesday, January 8, according to the Honor the Gift coalition, which consists of 26 kidney and transplant organizations.
The bipartisan “Immuno Bill” would:
- Allow kidney transplant recipients to maintain Medicare Part B coverage for immunosuppressive medications for the lifetime of the transplanted kidney – far beyond the current 36-month limit.
- Save Medicare an estimated $300 million over 10 years, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The bill was introduced by representatives Ron Kind (R-WI) and Michael Burgess, MD, (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Jason Smith (R-MO).
In 2015 alone, 375 Medicare patients needlessly lost their transplanted kidney due to lack of immunosuppressive medication coverage.
“Kidney transplant patients have been suffering from Medicare’s lack of long-term immunosuppressive medication coverage for far too long,” said Jim Gleason, President of Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO). “Ensuring these patients’ medications are covered beyond just today’s 36 months will provide much needed relief to thousands of families across the country. We are grateful for those in Congress who are working to finally ensure this legislation makes it to the President’s desk.”
Leaders in the Senate are expected to introduce a similar bill later this year. Kidney transplant recipients, donors, and advocates can contact their members of Congress and express their support for the legislation by visiting the Honor the Gift’s website and using its digital advocacy tool.
National coalition of kidney and transplant organizations celebrate Congress’ bipartisan effort to honor the gift of kidney donation. Honor the Gift; January 6, 2020. Accessed at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-coalition-of-kidney-and-transplant-organizations-celebrate-congress-bipartisan-effort-to-honor-the-gift-of-kidney-donation-300981233.html