DaVita Medical Insights

Article Overview: The Importance of Public/Private Health Partnerships

We can all agree that the current health care system is flawed. While reform is imperative, it is important to keep in mind how changes could affect our patients—especially highly vulnerable patients such as those with end stage renal disease. In a recent Townhall editorial, Public/Private Health Partnerships Are Lifesavers, Peter Roff reviews the public/private health partnership program created by Congress in 1972 (in which Medicare and commercial payers each play a role in providing insurance coverage to dialysis patients) and the detrimental effects dialysis patients could experience if this program were to be cut. Many commercial payers are already trying to push their dialysis patients prematurely to Medicare, when many of these patients would more greatly benefit from remaining on commercial insurance.

Raising awareness on this topic is very important. Throughout the ongoing debate on health care reform, we must protect our patients and ensure their needs are being prioritized. Commercial payers should be held accountable to covering their dialysis beneficiaries and the public/private partnerships should be maintained.

Please take a minute to read Roff’s article here and pass along to colleagues and friends who may find this interesting.

Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Prolific author and renowned authority on kidney disease, Allen R. Nissenson, MD, is chief medical officer at DaVita Kidney Care and emeritus professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he has served as director of the dialysis program and associate dean. Dr. Nissenson is also co-chair of the Kidney Care Partners Quality Initiative. Dr. Nissenson served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow of the Institute of Medicine from 1994–1995 and worked in the office of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. He is a former president of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA), served on the RPA Board of Directors as a special advisor to the president and is a former president of the Southern California End-Stage Renal Disease Network. He is the author of more than 700 scientific papers and the editor of two dialysis textbooks, one in its fourth edition and the other just released in its 5th edition. Dr. Nissenson earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is the recipient of various awards, including the AAKP Medal of Excellence award, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hemodialysis and the National Kidney Foundation “Man of the Year” award. Twitter: @DrNissenson