Kidney care centre waives copayment fees
A kidney disease specialist centre will no longer charge patients a copayment from next year, it was announced.
Kidney Care Bermuda will waive the charges at the start of 2024 to improve access to care and encourage people to take better care of their health.
Irena Ashton, the chief executive of KCB, said: “Eliminating copays will ease the burden for patients who have chronic kidney disease and require regular specialist care and treatment.
“We don’t want patients delaying healthcare because of the associated costs.”
She added: “Early referral to nephrology is very important to prevent worsening of kidney function and early onset of dialysis.
“Patients will have the opportunity to receive necessary education centred around self-care and disease management to actively participate in slowing down the progression of their disease.”
Ms Ashton said that KCB hoped to partner with the Boston-based Carna Health, a digital health company, and other healthcare providers to conduct an island-wide kidney screening to address the high number of those living with the disease undetected.
She added: “It’s important to reiterate that our services are not replacing the need for regular primary care follow-ups, but rather will allow patients with kidney disease to access our nephrology services.”
Kidney Care Bermuda offers free screenings for people with a high risk of developing kidney disease, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes.
The centre said early screenings are important because most symptoms do not appear in the initial stages of the disease and they give people a chance to learn more about the condition and how to care for it.
Early screenings also help sufferers to explore kidney replacement options before the onset of other therapies, as replacement treatment is complex and requires personal adjustments that early screenings can prepare patients for.
The Royal Gazettereported last week that a scheme was launched by Healthcare Solutions, a consulting firm, to offer free screening for chronic kidney disease in tandem with Carna Health.
Starting with a series of lifestyle questions, the programme can refer potential patients to testing that can establish the presence and severity of CKD.