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November 12, 2014, 11:18 AM #11Resource/Policy Associate Registered User
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Re: America's Organ Transplant Law is Criminally Unfair to Donors-New Republic
I hope you get a transplant soon and that it works well for you. Transplant has its own risks and benefits. I've known people who did great with a transplant and I've known people who developed skin and other cancers, diabetes, cataracts, bone disease requiring joint replacement, and other conditions as a result of the costly immunosuppressant medications. I've known people that have had multiple transplants over many years with kidney disease and I've known people who chose not to have a transplant.
For those on dialysis seeking transplant, I encourage them to develop a plan and work on skills they'll need to return to work post-transplant. Although it's easy to get SSI or SSDI when you're on dialysis, Social Security may require the transplant recipient to undergo redetermination of their disability. If the transplant patient is stable, SSI or SSDI may end as soon as 12 months post-transplant. At 3 years post-transplant those who don't have another disabling condition besides ESRD lose Medicare. At that point it is important to have a way to pay for health insurance and most transplant programs require that of transplant candidates.
In the past transplant patients were often excluded from health insurance because ESRD and kidney transplant were considered pre-existing conditions. One of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is that health insurers cannot exclude people with pre-existing conditions. Now transplant recipients can get health insurance in the free market or in the marketplace when Medicare ends. The cost of that insurance is likely to be more than Medicare/Medigap premiums. Having a job can be a way to get employer group health insurance with an employer contributing part of the premium cost. If the employer doesn't help to pay premiums, having a job can help transplant recipients afford health insurance premiums for follow-up care and immunosuppressant medications.
During my nephrology social work career I've advocated for dialysis facilities to allow patients to participate as much as they want in their care. I've encouraged social workers to encourage their patients to go to school or work and for facilities to accommodate patients' schedules. I've advocated for VR services for people with kidney disease, including helping (with other renal and VR professionals and patients) to write a manual for VR counselors about the unique needs of people with kidney disease and those on dialysis and with transplants. My goal is to help people live as long and as well as they can and I have tried to encourage everyone working with people with kidney disease to give patients a hand up instead of a hand out.Beth Witten MSW ACSW LSCSW
Medical Education Institute, Inc.
November 12, 2014, 11:58 PM #12Senior Member Registered User
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- Cincinnati, Ohio NDXUFan(AOL) and officer312000(Yahoo)