How Medicare Covers Kidney Disease
Did you know that one in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease? Major risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure, and being age 60 or older.
The best way to fight kidney disease is to find it before trouble starts. But if you’ve already been diagnosed, Medicare can help you make informed decisions about your care.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. Your kidneys filter extra water and wastes out of your blood and make urine. Kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should.
If you experience kidney failure, treatments include dialysis or kidney transplant. Other kidney problems include acute kidney injury, kidney cysts, kidney stones, and kidney infections.
If you have Stage IV chronic kidney disease that will usually require dialysis or a kidney transplant, Medicare covers up to six kidney disease education sessions that teach you how to take the best possible care of your organs. Topics include how to prevent complications of kidney disease, what to eat and drink, and what options you have if your kidneys get worse, like dialysis and kidney transplants.
Here’s more information about how Medicare covers dialysis and transplants: https://www.medicare.gov/ Pubs/pdf/10128Medicare CoverageESRD. pdf.
If you or a loved one has advanced kidney problems requiring dialysis, often known as End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD), finding the right care can be a challenge.
Dialysis centers can vary in the quality of care and services they provide, so it’s important to understand the differences in dialysis centers in your area before you decide where to go for care. If you’re already on dialysis, it’s also important to understand the quality of care that your dialysis center delivers.
Medicare’s Dialysis Facility Compare website (https:// www. medicare. gov/ dialysisfacilitycompare) lets you easily search for dialysis centers, compare them side by side, and find the right one for you. You also can see how dialysis patients responded to survey questions about their dialysis center, their kidney doctor, and the center’s staff.