NKF To Answer Questions About New Medicare Benefit

New York, NY (June 19, 2001) - Signed into law last December, the Beneficiary Improvements and Protection Act (BIPA, Public Law 106-554) provided more than 34,000 transplant recipients in this country with significant extended Medicare coverage of critical immunosuppressive (anti-rejection) medications. In an effort to answer the many questions that have surfaced concerning this new benefit, the National Kidney Foundation will host two free Q&A audioconference sessions, Issues for Today's Transplant Recipient: Understanding the New Extended Medicare Coverage for Immunosuppressive Medications. Scheduled for July 20 and 24, the conferences aim to address concerns from both health care professionals and transplant recipients alike.

A panel of representatives from the National Kidney Foundation, the Health Care Financing Administration and pharmacy services will be on hand to answer questions about the new law as well as cover a host of topics including the history of BIPA, patient eligibility and assistance to patients and health care professionals on obtaining anti-rejection medications.

A session for transplant professionals will be held on Monday, July 20 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET, and is open to all physicians, social workers, coordinators, administrators and financial counselors. A second session designed for transplant recipients, family members and friends is scheduled for Tuesday, July 24 from 1:00 to 2:00 ET. Interested participants should call the toll free access number at 866-322-0772 10 minutes before the conference in order to be connected. Patients and health care professionals may also submit their question about the new legislation prior to the conference by registering online at www.transplantrecipients.org, or by calling the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622-9010 to request a registration form.

Issues for Transplant Recipients is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.