Dialysis Patient Citizens News

To the Editor: Medigap coverage important for people in need

June 21st, 2021|

To the Editor: As a single mom, starting dialysis required a lot of shuffling so I could attend treatments while juggling my responsibilities as a parent. Thankfully, it didn’t require big out-of-pocket payments to cover what Medicare couldn’t, since Michigan requires insurers to provide dialysis patients like me with access to Medigap. I know the reality is different for patients in my situation in other states, so I’m happy to see members of Congress from both parties working on the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, which [...]

Expanding Medigap coverage

June 21st, 2021|

I first started dialysis just over 20 years ago, and in that time I’ve done both home and in-center dialysis treatments in addition to receiving two kidney transplants. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to have good coverage that kept my treatments affordable. As I’ve met other dialysis patients, I’ve realized just how rare that is. Many people with kidney disease receive their coverage through Medicare and if they are under 65, they can get hit with big bills that they have to pay out-of-pocket if [...]

Letter: Medigap expansion bill offers relief to kidney disease patients in need

June 19th, 2021|

I have struggled with kidney disease my entire life. I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease when I was 7 years old, and I finally went on dialysis in 2010 at age 26 when my kidneys failed. While I was able to receive full coverage from private and public insurance providers due to the fact that I am legally blind, the sad reality is that many dialysis patients who aren’t disabled don’t have access to the full coverage they need for their treatments. For that reason, [...]

Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Kidney Care News with DPC’s New “Patient Stories” Page

June 18th, 2021|

Dialysis Patient Citizens wants to make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with the latest Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds written by our members. Head over to our new Patient Stories page to hear these members’ stories and how upcoming bills, such as the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act and the BETTER Kidney Care Act, would provide much needed assistance to patients. Check Out the Patient Stories Page

Dialysis Patient Citizens Statement Commemorating Juneteenth

June 17th, 2021|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 17, 2021) -- Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) today released the following statement recognizing Juneteenth and reaffirming its commitment to addressing healthcare disparities among kidney patients nationwide. “Today we commemorate Juneteenth, an important day in history that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Americans and allows us an opportunity for reflection on both our nation’s history and how much further we have to go,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “Black Americans continue to face systemic inequalities in our country, including healthcare disparities that disproportionately hurt patients from [...]

Medigap expansion bill would ease burden on dialysis patients

June 11th, 2021|

Last year was tough for everyone as we navigated life during a pandemic and did what we could to stay home. Unfortunately, things got even tougher when I found out I had to start dialysis treatments again. While I was initially able to stop dialysis in 2010 thanks to a kidney transplant, complications meant that I had to start treatments again in 2020. The second time around, the entire process has been more difficult since I have more treatments each week than I did previously, and the [...]

New bill would expand coverage to kidney patients who need it most

June 9th, 2021|

For 10 years, I acted as my father’s in-home dialysis provider, and having the chance to be there for him was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. While he passed away last year, I’ve been able to channel that energy into helping and educating other patients who are in the same position he was. Caring for my father, along with my experiences as a nurse and my recent schooling to become a health education specialist, opened my eyes to a lot of disparities affecting [...]

Both Sides of the Aisle Agree – We Need to Help Kidney Patients

June 9th, 2021|

On June 8, 2021, Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), a bipartisan, bicameral bill designed to not only raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but also improve understanding and access to treatment for patients, which includes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more that 1 in 7 US adults (about 37 million people) have [...]

Former firefighter advocates for fellow renal failure patients

June 8th, 2021|

Former firefighter Terry Peeler of Livingston has released a statement urging Alabama lawmakers to support new bipartisan legislation that offers coverage for dialysis patients. Peeler’s career as a firefighter ended when he was diagnosed with kidney failure. “Starting dialysis in 2016 was unbelievably difficult,” Peeler said. “It brought my career as a firefighter to a sudden halt, and meant I needed to make a 72-mile round trip three times every week to undergo a procedure that takes five hours.” “I was fortunate, though, because the cost was [...]

Opinion | Letter: Pass Kidney-care Bill

June 1st, 2021|

By Kristi Flynn of Grovetown, GA I have struggled with kidney disease my entire life. I was diagnosed when I was 7, then started dialysis at 25 before finally receiving a kidney transplant in 2018. Throughout all of this, the role of coordinating care has fallen completely on me, a task I find particularly difficult because I am legally blind. Even within my transplant center, doctors can’t always communicate, and even more frustrating, occasionally change each other’s plans without consulting each other. With a more streamlined approach to [...]

DPC Board Member Donnie Anderson Addresses CDC Infection Control Conference

May 12th, 2021|

Recorded for the 2021 Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition Virtual Meeting DPC Board Member Donnie Anderson spoke on a panel entitled "COVID-19 from The Patient Perspective” at the CDC’s 2021 Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition meeting. The virtual conference held in May was the Coalition’s fourth meeting to advance efforts to prevent bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. The conference facilitated information-sharing and idea generation among dialysis and infection prevention experts.

Passing kidney care legislation will help dialysis patients

May 12th, 2021|

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit last year, it forced a lot of people out of work. That was especially the case for dialysis patients like me, as our kidney disease means we’re at a higher risk for getting seriously sick if we get COVID-19, and we’ve had to take extra steps to stay safe. While I’m looking forward to returning to work, doing so means I will lose some of the coverage I have that covers what Medicare doesn’t. Unless I can get that “Medigap” coverage, [...]

Letters: Action Needed to Help Alabama Dialysis Patients

May 1st, 2021|

By Cortney Beavers of Pell City, AL. One of the most difficult moments of my life was finding out that, despite being only 24 years old, my kidney was beginning to fail. After years of dialysis and a kidney transplant, I learned through my experiences in the health care system what needs to be improved. Doctors and nurses need a better care coordination framework to more effectively treat their patients. I had the benefit of working with terrific nurses and other providers who met my needs and [...]

Andrew Conkling: Expanding Medigap coverage for dialysis patients is a welcome and necessary change

April 29th, 2021|

Kidney disease has been a major part of my life from the very start. I was born with just one functioning kidney and, defying doctors’ expectations, made it to age 25 before I needed to start dialysis treatments. Through my own experiences with dialysis and my conversations with other patients in dialysis clinics across the United States in the years since, I’ve seen that there are still a lot of barriers that prevent patients who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) from getting the level of care they [...]

New Bipartisan Effort Could Provide Much-Needed Coverage for NYC Kidney Patients

April 28th, 2021|

Living with kidney disease, undergoing dialysis, and ultimately traveling out-of-state to receive a kidney transplant provided me with a harsh lesson in how challenging life with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can be both physically and financially. It’s already difficult having to go through all these treatments even before considering the financial burdens that come with them. The costs are a lot for patients, and many of them are hit with bills they simply can’t afford. As those costs pile up, patients can become ineligible for treatments that [...]

DPC Advocates Help Push State Legislation Forward

April 20th, 2021|

State legislatures are in high gear during spring, and efforts by state legislators to support dialysis patients are in full swing this month. We’ve already had several legislative victories on living organ donor protection bills, while Medigap expansion legislation for the ESRD population has been introduced in multiple states. With support from multiple DPC Patient Ambassadors and Board Members sharing their personal stories on these two policy issues, DPC is making robust arguments for states to actively help improve the quality of life for End Stage Renal [...]

New Year, New Administration Brings Changes to Medicare’s Kidney Demonstration Projects

April 14th, 2021|

2021 was supposed to mark the beginning of three new Medicare programs to demonstrate innovations in kidney care, but a last-minute decision from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has suspended two of them. This action unfortunately leaves about 50,000 dialysis patients with a nine-month gap in extra assistance they were receiving from a successful program that expired March 31. Here is the rundown on the current landscape of Medicare demonstration projects that impact dialysis patients. Demonstration projects are used by Medicare to test new models [...]

Letter: Medigap Expansion Act needs Delaware’s support

April 13th, 2021|

Life on dialysis is hard. It involves several hours-long treatments every week and puts a major strain on everyone involved. It’s a frustrating process that I wouldn’t have been able to get through without my family. The last thing you want to worry about while going through dialysis is the cost. The treatments already weigh on patients and families both physically and mentally, and no dialysis patient should be forced to fear they will be priced out of life-saving care. That is why it is so important [...]

National Minority Health Month

April 5th, 2021|

April is also recognized as National Minority Health Month, in an effort to highlight and address the health disparities experienced in minority communities. This is especially prevalent among kidney and dialysis patients; Hispanic or Latino Americans 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure than white Americans, Black or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 1.2 times more likely, and Asian Americans are also at a higher risk. Additionally, the main risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) disproportionately affect [...]

Letter: Pass Medigap expansion

April 2nd, 2021|

I never considered the possibility of having kidney disease until I ended up in the emergency room with a life-threatening illness. The doctors told me I was “toxic” and said I had developed kidney disease due to hypertension. Not long after, I started dialysis treatments. Being on dialysis meant I couldn’t work full time, so I wanted to find a way to get involved and help others like me. Dialysis is tough, and I want to use my experiences to help ensure patients can get the care [...]

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