Help Increase Funding for the Registry Protect Access to Cellular Transplant (PACT) Act

Posted April 3rd, 2018 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Our efforts to protect access to life-saving transplant for Medicare recipients is gaining momentum. Currently we have 20 co-sponsors! This is in large part thanks to your advocacy efforts.

While we had hoped to have this legislation passed before the April rule-making decision that provides guidelines on Medicare reimbursement, we fell short of our goal, making your advocacy all the more important and urgent.

We have a new goal for the month of April. We need to add 10 new co-sponsors! To do this, we need your help. If you have already sent an email (thank you), but now it’s time to make a call. If you have used social media (thank you), well, now let’s send an email.

We make it easy to send an email, make a call or post on social media with our action form. Take a moment and try it out! 

Why is this legislation so important?
Medicare rates do not cover the total costs hospitals incur when providing a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. The financial losses incurred by transplant centers when treating Medicare patients threaten their ability to continue to provide these transplants. This problem does not exist for solid organ transplants because Medicare pays for the acquisition cost of the organs separately and at a rate based on the cost of acquiring the organs. The PACT Act would require Medicare to apply the same policy to cellular transplants as well.

Your Member of Congress could implement a solution first by co-sponsoring and then urging immediate passage of the PACT Act.

Thank you for your continued advocacy on this life-saving legislation.

Protect access to transplant for patients like Mark

Posted December 4th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in Patient Stories
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Mark, transplant recipient, with his wife

In 2008, after feeling tired constantly and experiencing night sweats, Mark knew these symptoms were a red flag and visited his doctor. Blood tests revealed his counts were dramatically low – which indicated lymphoma. Additional tests revealed that Mark had mantle cell lymphoma, a very rare form of lymphoma that is classified as incurable. A bone marrow transplant would be Mark’s best hope of keeping his disease in remission.

Mark started six rounds of chemotherapy to go into remission while his doctors at the University of Michigan searched the Be The Match Registry® to find him a match. He had five perfect matches. Mark’s second perfect match stepped up to be his life-saving donor. Throughout his transplant journey, Mark said he felt fortunate to be able to focus on recovery and healing instead of worrying about his insurance coverage.

The cost of transplant can be up to $200,000. And most often, transplant centers are only reimbursed approximately $65,000 to treat Medicare patients. This creates an access barrier for patients to receive the life-saving treatment they need.

“Lymphoma can come back,” he said. “I visit patients who are in their 70’s and getting transplants. I have seen the bills without insurance – without Medicare coverage, people could not do it.”

Please urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor this upcoming legislation. Medicare beneficiaries like Mark and the patients he volunteers with need your help: be the voice to save a life.