10/4/02 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association New Dialysis Booklet Educates Legislators, Staff

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October 4, 2002


Information: Janet D’Alesandro

(856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association

New Dialysis Booklet Educates Legislators, Staff

Available for download at www.annanurse.org

PITMAN, NJ – As important legislation on dialysis reimbursement awaits action in Washington, states grapple with budget shortfalls and rising Medicaid costs, and regulatory issues flourish, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has published a new booklet designed to help educate policymakers at all levels and their staff about end stage renal disease (ESRD).

The booklet, “ESRD Briefing Book for State and Federal Policymakers presents in lay terms the basics of ESRD, or kidney failure. It is meant to be used by nephrology nurses as a teaching tool when they interact with health policy decision makers and their staff.

Education is essential to understanding the critical needs of our renal community, said Nancy Szymanski, RN, CNN, co-author of the booklet and ANNA’s northeast legislative advisor. With the current state of the economy, federal and state legislators and agency personnel must have a complete understanding of the issues to steer laws and policies in a positive direction.

The booklet begins with a description of kidney function and failure, and presents statistics on incidence: Over 340,000 patients were treated for ESRD in 1999, and an additional 88,000 new patients started treatment that year. Total spending from all sources for ESRD in 1999 was nearly $18 billion and Medicare spending totaled nearly $13 billion. The booklet also explains types of treatment, vascular access, and underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. A dialysis facility is described as well as a nephrology nurse’s typical day.

The booklet is one effort among many. Several leading U.S. renal care organizations, including ANNA, have joined forces as The Renal Coalition and along with others in the broader renal community are currently lobbying for higher reimbursement rates as the Senate mulls a Medicare reform bill. ANNA also participates with the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief in lobbying for funding for the recently-enacted Nurse Reinvestment Act.

In addition to Szymanski, the book was written by ANNA legislative consultants Kathleen T. Smith, BS, RN, CNN; and Nancy Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN.

Full-text of the booklet is available for download on the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org. For more information or to obtain a copy, contact the ANNA National Office at (888) 600-2662; (856) 256-2320; fax (856) 589-7463; e-mail anna@ajj.com.


Members of the media: If you would like to write an article about the booklet or interview the authors, contact Janet D’Alesandro, (856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

ANNA is a professional nursing association comprised of more than 12,000 nephrology nurses. The association is dedicated to advancing nephrology nursing practice and positively influencing outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.