News

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
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.
November 9, 2015

This week begins the open enrollment period for 2016 coverage. The health insurance marketplace lists coverage options for patients who do not have an insurance plan through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or a private plan. Enrollment can be done by phone, online, through a paper application and in person. Open enrollment will run through January 31, 2016.  

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.
October 9, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the participants for the Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC) Model, a new accountable care organization (ACO) model designed specifically for ESRD patients. ACOs are groups of physicians and other health care providers who collectively take on responsibility for the quality and cost of care for a population of patients.

October 9, 2015

DPC has been hard at work on the state level fighting to ensure continued access to quality patient care, most recently in Alabama and North Carolina. In Alabama, patients fought to maintain Medicaid funding for outpatient dialysis, which the state was considering moving to local hospitals instead, in a potential effort to close the state budget shortfall. Patient advocates quickly took action and contacted their state legislators to encourage alternative revenue generating measures to close the budget gap as opposed to eliminating Medicaid funding.

October 9, 2015

Kidney advocates are reacting to an alarming trend in the commercial insurance industry: insurers are increasingly writing language into policy documents that attempt to exclude or limit coverage of renal care. DPC is alerting regulators at both the state and federal levels to the harm these limitations could have on patients, and asking them to enforce the numerous laws that prohibit health plans from discriminating against people with ESRD.

October 9, 2015

DPC Policy Director Jackson Williams and Pittsburgh kidney patient Janice Nathan were among witnesses at a hearing held by Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner on “surprise medical bills.” These are bills received from physicians who are outside of an insurer’s provider network even though they work inside facilities that are in-network.

Dialysis Patient Citizens
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Toll free: 1-866-877-4242
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Email: dpc@dialysispatients.org