PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - For those on dialysis, the treatment is synonymous to life.
Congressman Neal Dunn, also known as Dr. Dunn, is hoping to give these patients a better quality of life.
"So these, the nephrologist, the physicians working here, they actually see these patients already three times a week," Dunn said, "and what they're trying to do is put them in a better position to become de facto, the primary care physicians for the dialysis patients. So that makes sense."
Congress is considering a policy that would expand the availability of better-coordinated care in Florida to Medicare patients receiving dialysis. The policy at this time is known as the Dialysis PATIENT Act.
His visit comes amid the White House signing an executive order last week on health care; one that will give employers permission to seek out cheaper health insurance plans across state lines – something the congressman says is crucial.
“It really does introduce competition into the system,” Dunn said.
Going the executive order route, one repeatedly taken by President Obama, is Dunn-approved, although he'd prefer legislation.
"But minus the legislation, the patients are still here. They still need the care and we can't just ignore that. So it's not a great long-term answer, but it's a great stop-gap," Dunn said.
It's a temporary fix as the search for better-coordinated care continues, both for these patients and health care nationwide.