Ms. Jerilyn Hoover, a part-time MPH student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has published an article in U.S. News and World Report about the challenges undocumented U.S. immigrants face in receiving care for kidney failure. The article, “For Thousands of Immigrants in the U.S., Care for Kidney Failure Is Difficult,” was based on her final assignment in a summer institute course on effective writing taught by Dr. Beth Resnick, a senior scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.
Ms. Hoover is a community health nurse in the District of Columbia, where she manages the medical care for patients with HIV and chronic diseases. As she writes in her article, “The type of care available for immigrants with kidney failure who are not eligible for Medicaid varies by state in the U.S. In all states, hospitals provide medical care for any patient with a medical emergency, regardless of immigration status. A patient with untreated kidney failure would regularly build up so much fluid that their body swells and they have difficulty breathing. At that stage, only emergency dialysis administered in a hospital can stabilize them. These life-or-death emergencies are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.”
Ms. Hoover urges people to ask their state and local health officials how undocumented immigrants with kidney failure are cared for in their state, and encourage them to consider options to reduce long-term cost while improving health outcomes and quality of care.