Rising Gas Prices Will Affect Dialysis Patients, American Kidney Fund Warns

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Skyrocketing gas prices will negatively affect many dialysis patients who must drive to treatment several times each week.

The American Kidney Fund today warned that skyrocketing gasoline prices will affect thousands of kidney patients who must drive three times a week to receive lifesaving dialysis treatments.

Unless they receive a transplant, people whose kidneys have failed can survive only by undergoing dialysis, a procedure which cleans the toxins and excess fluids from their blood. Patients who live in rural areas often must drive long distances to reach their dialysis treatment centers.

Last year the American Kidney Fund provided $2.47 million in transportation grants to dialysis patients nationwide. These grants helped patients pay for gasoline as well as for ambulettes, cabs, public transit, and other means of traveling to treatment. The Kidney Fund has received a notable increase in requests for transportation assistance in recent months.

“We can attribute the increase in grant requests directly to the rising cost of fuel,” said LaVarne A. Burton, CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “Dialysis patients already face enormous out-of-pocket expenses that insurance will not cover, and the price of gasoline is becoming an increasingly heavy burden for them. As costs continue to rise, the impact on dialysis patients will grow.”

The Kidney Fund provides many different types of grants to assist patients with out-of-pocket expenses related to their treatment, but transportation recently become one of the largest grant areas. Last year, 78 percent of funds earmarked to help patients with out-of-pocket expenses went toward providing transportation grants. In the first quarter of this year, 82 percent of those funds have funded transportation grants.

Patients are eligible for transportation grants from the American Kidney Fund only if they are ineligible to receive transportation assistance from Medicaid or any other source. Patients wishing to apply for a transportation grant from the American Kidney Fund may do so through the social workers at their dialysis facilities.

The American Kidney Fund is the nation’s #1 provider of financial assistance to kidney patients and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top charities by Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Charity Navigator and American Institute of Philanthropy. For more information, visit http://www.kidneyfund.org.

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Tamara Ruggiero
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