A document released by the Senate Chronic Care Working Group in December contains several policy proposals for the care of end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. DPC’s most recent e-newsletter outlined the proposal’s topics, which include opening Medicare Advantage plans to dialysis patients, and making Special Needs Plans permanent to better coordinate care. DPC recently submitted a letter commenting on these proposals.
DPC supports the proposal to allow ESRD patients to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans without restrictions. Current guidelines prevent ESRD patients enrolled in traditional Medicare to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. DPC encourages the working group to share comments they may receive from outside parties on the issue and arrange discussion between interested parties to get a consensus.
Included in our comments is a response to the working group’s feedback request on quality measures that would help ESRD beneficiaries make informed decisions about enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans. DPC suggests information on what the plan may offer, such as copayments or case managers, be presented first to patients looking to enroll in these plans. Over time, other measures like patient experience and mortality should be included to provide adequate information to patients.
DPC will continue to monitor the Working Group’s activity and report any updates in the near future. The entire comment letter is available here.