Friday, April 01, 2011
Medicare policy for renal disease questioned for elderly patients
Gina Kolata has an important story in the New York Times March 31 about the use of dialysis, supported by Medicare for end stage renal disease at all ages (almost the only disease that has this attention from Medicare life long) in elderly patients. Some physicians are saying that for elderly patients hospice and palliative care is more appropriate, because dialysis is so unsatisfactory in many elderly patients.
The Medicare ESRD law was intended to keep younger kidney patients alive and productive but the story says it has unintended consequences for the elderly.
ESRD is sometimes detected in routine physical examinations before there are major symptoms.
The (url) link to the story is here, and now will require a NYTimes “paywall” subscription.