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News2020-03-21T20:39:15+00:00

Dialysis Patient Citizens News

DPC Opposes California Prop 23 which Threatens Patient Access to Care

October 19th, 2020|

Voting is already underway in several states, including California which has a statewide ballot initiative concerning dialysis patients. Proposition 23, as it is known, is another proposed ballot initiative by a labor union following a similar ballot dispute in 2018, which was defeated by a wide voter margin.  Rather than focus on profit-caps again, this initiative would impose stricter regulations on dialysis clinics. Prop 23 would require a licensed physician (or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, if an exemption is granted because of the ongoing physician [...]

Mark Your Calendar for our November Patient Ambassador Call

October 12th, 2020|

Please join us next month for our upcoming Patient Ambassador call: Post-Election Impact. Please RSVP to let us know you can attend the call. Call Details are below: Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 Time: 2:00 PM ET, 1:00 PM CT, 12:00 PM MT, 11:00 AM PT Follow these instructions at the time of the call: Call: 1-877-399-5186 Enter Meeting Code: 269 743 2061 Join Online (optional): https://dialysispatients.adobeconnect.com/advocacy/ Thank you for helping to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients by representing DPC as a leader in your [...]

Action Alert – Secure Kidney Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

October 5th, 2020|

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (H.R. 5534, S. 3353) is gaining momentum in Congress. The bill was voted out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and has over 100 cosponsors in the House and over 20 cosponsors in the Senate. We need you to help us press for passage by contacting your Members of Congress today. This bill was introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX), as well as Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). This legislation [...]

New Bill Would Help Struggling Dialysis Patients

September 30th, 2020|

By Dortha Pugh-Thompson, DPC Patient Ambassador When my doctor told me I had kidney disease, I wasn’t aware of just how serious it was. Two years later, though, I passed out and woke up in the emergency room, where doctors said I was experiencing both kidney failure and heart failure. Shortly after, I started dialysis. Fortunately, I was able to do in-home dialysis and remain active in my community and my church. Now, even after receiving a transplant, I’ve found my calling as an advocate for dialysis [...]

CMS Announces Penalties and Rewards for Promoting Home Dialysis and Transplants

September 22nd, 2020|

On September 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. The ETC Model was a cornerstone of President Trump’s Advancing Kidney Health Executive Order in 2019. It encourages an increased use of home dialysis and kidney transplants in approximately 30 percent of dialysis facilities and nephrology practices and will be implemented on January 1, 2021. CMS estimated reduced expenditures of $23 million over five and a half years, anticipating that providers assigned to the program will be [...]

DPC Hosts Successful Virtual Patient Advocacy Day

September 20th, 2020|

DPC patient activists and health care professionals from across the country met with Members of Congress and their legislative staff to advocate on behalf of dialysis patients during DPC’s Annual Advocacy Day on September 15, 2020. This was DPC's largest Annual Advocacy Day with representatives from 32 states and close to 200 virtual Congressional office meetings. It was also DPC's first virtual Advocacy Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic—all Congressional meetings were held via telephone. Advocates asked Congress to ensure all dialysis patients gain access to Medigap through [...]

Action Alert – Support Care Coordination for Dialysis Patients

September 17th, 2020|

The BETTER Kidney Care Act (H.R. 8254/S. 4574) was recently introduced by Senators Young (R-IN) and Sinema (D-AZ), along with Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR) and Smith (R-MO). This bill would enhance access to care coordination services for thousands of patients across the United States currently living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It could also help with services not covered by Medicare such as dental care and transportation. Coordinated care is essential for improving the overall care and health of ESRD patients. Specifically, better care coordination could mean help [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Commends Introduction of the BETTER Kidney Care Act

September 16th, 2020|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (September 16, 2020) -- Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) today applauded introduction of the BETTER Kidney Care Act (H.R. 8254/S. 4574) by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Jason Smith (R-MO-8). This bill would enhance access to care coordination services for thousands of patients across the United States currently living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). "We applaud Senators Young and Sinema along with Representatives Blumenauer and Smith for introducing the BETTER Kidney Care Act. We are grateful for their continued leadership and efforts to [...]

Action Alert – Provide ALL Dialysis Patients with Access to Medigap

September 9th, 2020|

Jack Reynolds The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 8181) was recently introduced by U.S. Representative Cynthia Axne (D-IA) in honor of DPC founding Board member and our longest serving president Jack Reynolds. This bill would require Medigap plans to offer coverage to all End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age. Without supplemental insurance like Medigap, Medicare patients bear significant out-of-pocket expenses for physician visits, hospital admissions, and other services they need to stay alive. Medicare has no out-of-pocket limit, unlike private [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Applauds Introduction of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act

September 8th, 2020|

Jack Reynolds WASHINGTON, D.C., (September 8, 2020) -- Dialysis Patients Citizens (DPC) today applauded the introduction of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, new legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Cynthia Axne (D-IA-3) in honor of founding DPC Board member and longest serving president Jack Reynolds. This bill would expand Medigap coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65. “My top priorities in Congress have been to protect those living with pre-existing conditions and making health care accessible for those in [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Increase Dialysis Patient Quality Care

September 1st, 2020|

Each year—typically during the summer—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) puts out rules for how they are going to pay for dialysis treatment. The rules reflect CMS’ latest policies, and organizations have the opportunity to provide feedback about the rules before they go into effect on January 1. DPC provided feedback to CMS regarding their End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Annual Payment rule. DPC’s letter addresses the following important topics for improving ESRD patient care: Protect Access for Costlier Patients by Completing Reconsideration of Case-Mix Adjusters [...]

Mark Your Calendar for our September Patient Ambassador Call

August 25th, 2020|

Please join us early next month for our next Patient Ambassador call: Engaging with Elected Officials on Social Media During a Pandemic. Learn tips about what you can do to elevate your voice online. Please RSVP to let us know you can attend the call. Call Details are below: Date: Thursday, September 3, 2020 Time: 2:00 PM ET, 1:00 PM CT, 12:00 PM MT, 11:00 AM PT Follow these instructions at the time of the call: Call: 1-877-399-5186 Enter Meeting Code: 269 743 2061 Join Online (optional): https://dialysispatients.adobeconnect.com/advocacy/ [...]

Scientists Report Favorable Findings for Peritoneal Dialysis Patients

August 19th, 2020|

Researchers found a 48 percent decrease in mortality and a 13 percent decrease in transition to in-center hemodialysis among peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients over time. The positive findings were most prevalent for patients in urban and larger PD program (25+ patients) settings. With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increasing among people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), these findings may be reassuring for people interested in trying an alternative home dialysis treatment amid the global pandemic. Whether or not peritoneal dialysis is an appealing or viable treatment option, patients should [...]

The Coronavirus Outbreak Puts Dialysis Patients At Risk

August 14th, 2020|

Jeff Needham turned his lifestyle around with diet and exercise after he was diagnosed with kidney disease. A true inspiration, Needham competed in two Olympic distance triathlon relays, as well as a three-day, 230-mile cycling ride, in support of a better health care system. In addition, Needham warns about the increased dangers of COVID-19 for dialysis patients and highlights the benefits of participating in a coordinated care pilot program.

DPC’s 2020 Annual Membership Survey is Live!

August 6th, 2020|

Elevate the Voice of Patients with Kidney Disease and Their Caregivers Our 2020 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 21. We are counting on your participation, as patient feedback helps to shape our public policy agenda and patient education priorities for the next year. This year we ask that both patients and caregivers take our survey. Rest assured your responses will remain completely anonymous. We only share the overall survey results with state and federal level policy makers, so they will [...]

Action Alert – Help us Increase Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

July 28th, 2020|

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (H.R. 5534, S. 3353) is gaining momentum in Congress, and we need your help continuing to get the word out. This bill was introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX), as well as Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). This legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs beyond the current limit of 36 months for patients who are unable to obtain health insurance coverage elsewhere. Immunosuppressive medications play a critical role in preventing transplant recipients [...]

ESRD Community Honors the Legacy of Congressman John Lewis

July 27th, 2020|

Our nation recently lost one of its most iconic and stalwart champions for justice in Congressman John Lewis. He dedicated his life to fighting for civil rights and social justice for all Americans, and his legacy will forever be remembered. Congressman Lewis was also one of the kidney community’s most consistent, trustworthy, and respected allies, and we join the nation in mourning his passing. Throughout his more than three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Lewis was a champion for patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and worked [...]

Care Coordination Fixes One of the Biggest Flaws in the American Health Care System

July 20th, 2020|

Gloria Rohrer lost a leg after needing multiple surgeries when her kidney transplant failed. Rohrer later lost her eyesight in one eye while vacationing in Florida, which could have been avoided with proper care coordination. She could have shut down and become angry with the world, instead Rohrer became a stalwart advocate for patient access to care coordination services, so that others can avoid similar complications.

Dialysis Patient Citizens Files Lawsuit Against HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma Over New Regulation That Undercuts Dialysis Patient Access to Affordable, High-Quality Care

June 22nd, 2020|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 22, 2020) -- Today, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in opposition to a discriminatory new federal regulation that will limit the ability of hundreds of thousands of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to access affordable, high quality treatment. “ESRD [...]

Medicare Removes Important Protection for Dialysis Patients in Managed Care Plans

May 26th, 2020|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a regulation for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that eliminates time and distance limits from network adequacy requirements for dialysis facilities. Network adequacy requirements for health plans ensure that patients can have access to all necessary providers with reasonable promptness. Time and distance limits prescribe a maximum driving time or distance in miles that a consumer must travel to get to a doctor or facility. The limits are higher in rural areas. CMS replaced the time and [...]

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