News

January 19, 2016

Happy New Year! In 2015, DPC leadership and its strong patient advocacy efforts at the state level fought to: prevent dramatic cuts to dialysis funding in Alabama and Illinois and preserve charity payments for dialysis patient premiums. Other highlights include:  

January 19, 2016
Last month, DPC sent a letter commenting on the “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017” proposed rule. This annual rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contains proposed changes to the exchange plan coverage of the Affordable Care Act. DPC’s letter focuses on the importance of insurance coverage and network quality for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.  
 
January 19, 2016
A recent document released by the Senate Chronic Care Working Group contains several policy proposals relating to the care of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The working group was formed last year under by Senate Finance Committee as a way to explore potential bipartisan policy changes to improve health care.
December 11, 2015

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients who receive Medicaid are less likely to be informed of home modality and transplantation options than patients covered by Medicare or commercial insurance, according to survey research DPC released earlier this month. DPC recently partnered with Baxter to facilitate a panel discussing these disparities at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) Conference in Los Angeles, California.

December 11, 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to add more measures to their Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC). The DFC is an online tool that allows users to search and compare dialysis facilities within a certain area based on ratings and certain measures. The added measures would examine fluid management, the rate of blood stream infections in in-center hemodialysis patients and pediatric peritoneal dialysis adequacy.

November 9, 2015
DPC and kidney advocates won a ruling from the Oregon insurance commissioner against discriminatory language in an insurance policy limiting coverage for ESRD patients. Bob Lee, a DPC patient ambassador and ESRD patient, and Hrant Jamgochian, executive director of DPC, attended a public hearing on the topic in Salem and presented testimony on behalf of DPC’s membership. 
 
The insurance commissioner ruled:
November 9, 2015
On October 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to update payment policies and rates under the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for renal dialysis services furnished after January 1, 2016.
November 9, 2015
Earlier this week, the President signed a two-year bipartisan budget deal that changes the premium and deductible amounts for Medicare Part B plans. ESRD patients whose Medicare premiums are not deducted from their Social Security checks were initially facing a premium increase of 50 percent to $159 a month, but now will pay around $120 a month. The lower rate was established through a loan from the Treasury Department to the Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund. The difference will be made up through monthly $3 repayment fees added onto beneficiaries’ premiums. 
 
November 9, 2015
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin expanding a prior authorization model for non-emergency ambulance transportation for dialysis patients into six states: Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Dialysis Patient Citizens
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Email: dpc@dialysispatients.org