9/15/04 - Nephrology Nurses' Educate Lawmakers During National 'ESRD Day'

September 15, 2004

Contact: Janet D'Alesandro • (856) 256-2422

janetd@ajj.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nephrology Nurses Educate
Lawmakers During National ‘ESRD Day’

Congress steers the government’s end stage renal disease (ESRD) Medicare policies. To boost lawmakers’ understanding, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) invited them to visit dialysis units in their home districts.

Pitman, NJ
– Congressional delegations across the
country have been visiting their local dialysis units recently as part
of the
American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) national “ESRD Education
Day”
campaign.

ANNA
designated August 13, 2004 as the official “ESRD
Day” for visits, however lawmakers are visiting units through October
and until
the end of the year as their schedules allow. As of mid-September, 97
members
of Congress and state legislators and/or their aides have been educated
about
ESRD by ANNA members in 30 states.

Dialysis
is a lifesaving treatment that the
legislators’ constituents receive as Medicare beneficiaries under the
government’s end stage renal disease (ESRD) reimbursement program.  

ESRD Day
is part of a continuing effort to educate
legislators and their staff members about the needs of patients with
ESRD,
according to Kathy Kuchta, BSN, RN, 2004 project coordinator. During
the tours
this year, which was the second year ANNA sponsored the event, Kuchta
said
legislators received information about the ESRD Modernization Act (S.
2614 and
H.R. 4927) and were asked to support these bills. The lawmakers were
also asked
to support the Nurse Reinvestment Act.

During
their visits, lawmakers met with dialysis
constituents and members of the health care team in each facility.
Nurses described
daily operations, outlined the role of nurses and technicians,
discussed kidney
disease and treatment, and provided information regarding the number of
dialysis units and number of patients served in the legislators’
districts. Legislators
also received ANNA’s ESRD Briefing Book for State and Federal
Policymakers (available to the public at www.annanurse.org).
The booklet presents in lay terms the basics of ESRD and includes
information
on underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Statistics
on
incidence and treatment costs are also presented.

For more information on ESRD Day or to download the ESRD booklet, visit ANNA’s Web site, www.annanurse.org.