December 22nd, 2020
San Francisco, CA
Congress takes action to Honor the Gift of kidney donation!
A note from Peter Maag, Executive Chairman at CareDx
Thanks to the tireless advocacy of the kidney, donation, and transplant community, I am proud to share that Congress has finally taken action to pass the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019 (The Immuno Bill).
The Immuno Bill will extend Medicare’s part B coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients beyond the current three-year limit—a critical piece of the long-term care of patients. Not only will this extension reduce the need for dialysis and repeated kidney transplants, but it will also help to save both lives and taxpayer dollars over time.
In March 2019, driven by our passion for serving patients, CareDx launched the Honor the Gift Coalition—a national patient-centered campaign focused on rallying the kidney community for the passage of the Immuno Bill and elevating the patient voice in national political discourse.
Throughout the campaign, we’ve had the privilege of hearing stories from patients across the country who have been personally affected by Medicare’s shortsighted policy. Patients like Mary in Wisconsin, who after receiving her fourth kidney transplant went into more than $40,000 worth of credit card debt trying to pay for her post-transplant medications. Patients like Monica in Chicago, who was fast approaching her three-year post-transplant coverage limit when the campaign launched, living with the fear of her medication coverage being pulled out from under her. These are real patients with real stories. It has been an honor to help share them on the national level and work to ensure Congress heard them too.
A critical piece of our success in this mission was our collaboration with the kidney, donation, and transplant community. The Honor the Gift coalition, at 32 members strong, includes many of the community’s leading organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Donate Life America, and Transplant Recipients International Organization. Together, on behalf of patients from across the country, we successfully encouraged thousands of advocates to make their voices heard and sent a total of 9,500 letters to Congress demanding they take action to honor the gift of kidney donation.
The legislation passing is not only a testament to the collaboration of our coalition, but of our bipartisan champions in Congress as well. The Immuno Bill attracted more than 135 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle and proved to be a noncontroversial, nonpartisan solution to a preventable problem. Special thanks and recognition are due to our incredible Immuno Champions who collectively have championed this legislation for decades:
And finally, to the nearly 10,000 patients, donors, clinicians, family members, and supporters who have joined us in this fight, thank you for your efforts and for making a difference in the lives of these incredible patients. This year has presented many unique obstacles, but it’s encouraging to see something so positive come out of the challenges we’ve had to face throughout the year.
I hope we are able to meet in the new year to celebrate this important milestone and all of the other great accomplishments this community has achieved in the last year.
In the meantime, let’s stay in touch. If you want to know about the latest transplant news and information from CareDx, please let us know by signing up here.
Executive Chairman, CareDx
Corporate sponsors of the Honor the Gift Coalition