Dialysis Patient Citizens News

Support Sen. Young’s Kidney Care Act

November 28th, 2021|

A kidney disease diagnosis is life-changing. It means undergoing hours-long dialysis treatments several times every week, spending more time at doctors' appointments, and completely overhauling how patients live their lives. The stress of that change is only complicated by the fact that for a lot of dialysis patients, the responsibility for tracking treatments, medications and communicating with their nephrologist and primary care doctor and any number of other care providers so that treatments do not overlap or interfere with each other. Sen. Todd Young has introduced a [...]

Letter to the Editor: Medigap expansion bill can address coverage concerns

November 25th, 2021|

Being a nurse practitioner gives me a glimpse into patients’ daily struggles that aren’t always obvious from the outside looking in, like the problems patients face when their coverage suddenly changes, and they can’t afford the medications they need. This is something I’ve particularly noticed for dialysis patients. Since a lot of them rely on Medicare for coverage, they have large out-of-pocket expenses when it doesn’t cover something they need, like actual dialysis treatments (which patients usually need three to four times a week) and medications, since [...]

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2021|

On behalf of Dialysis Patient Citizens Board, staff and volunteers, we want to take this opportunity to give thanks for all of your support in helping to empower patients and elevate their voice with policy makers. Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving.

Readers React: Bill would help dialysis patients under age 65

November 10th, 2021|

Dialysis has involved a lot of waiting since I started it years ago. Treatments take hours at a time, and I’m left waiting for the call to finally tell me that a donor kidney is ready. It simply cannot come soon enough. However, I at least have coverage for my treatments through my wife’s job, in addition to Medicare, which I know is not the case for others. For them, treatments that aren’t covered by Medicare have to be paid out of pocket, and the added costs [...]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Law would make life easier for dialysis patients

November 7th, 2021|

When I first went into the hospital because of a heat stroke a few years ago, I never would’ve imagined it would lead to me starting dialysis. After 19 days in the hospital, I was back just one day after being discharged. Before long, doctors were forced to put me into a medically induced coma while I experienced heart and respiratory failure, which required a tracheostomy to help me breathe. When I came out of the coma, I was already on dialysis. This diagnosis came with expensive [...]

I’ve had a kidney transplant and know these bills will help others

October 30th, 2021|

Before I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease while I was pregnant with my son, I knew nothing about kidney disease. I never would have imagined all the different things that go into treating it, and what it would eventually be like to go on dialysis. Once I did start dialysis in 2016, I found myself in a whole different world. I remember just being overwhelmed learning about it all, and asking myself how I would possibly find a donor as I prepared each day for overnight [...]

Cover the Medigap

October 21st, 2021|

As a dialysis patient, one-time kidney transplant recipient, and a dialysis tech of 12 years, I’ve seen kidney care from just about every angle. I was fortunate to have insurance through my job which meant I didn’t have to deal with the out-of-pocket costs and hassle that sometimes come with Medicare, but that’s not true for everyone. Instead, they rely only on Medicare, and if it doesn’t cover certain costs, they can get stuck with a huge bill. Lawmakers can help change that by passing bills like [...]

DPC Continues to Engage Thought Leaders to Raise Public Awareness

October 20th, 2021|

DPC continues our partnership with Firehouse Strategies, an award-winning public relations firm, to expand our grassroots impact and elevate the stories of and priorities for patients. Below are some of the stories we’ve helped to get published by state and local leaders. BETTER Kidney Care Act offers bipartisan solution to help dialysis patients (Washington Examiner, 10/6/21) This piece is by former Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum. McCallum has also served as an Adjunct Professor and Honorary Fellow at the School of Health and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, [...]

TX Kidney Patients Eager for a Transplant Need Medigap Expansion

October 14th, 2021|

It took me two doctors' visits to get a liver transplant. It was a fairly seamless process all things considered, but the medications eventually cost me my only kidney and forced me onto dialysis. Getting a kidney transplant couldn't be more different, Just getting on the list feels like I'm running in circles, with constant tests and never any progress or solution. I've spent years on dialysis, which has changed my life drastically and even cost me a job I loved because I couldn't travel as much [...]

Kidney disease patients need coverage, new Medigap bill

October 13th, 2021|

I’ve battled kidney disease for over half my life, experiencing one failed kidney transplant and 16 years on dialysis — all before my 30th birthday. Fortunately, I’m able to receive full coverage for the cost of the treatments and medications I need to fight my kidney disease. However, I know there are other patients out there who can’t say the same thing. Many dialysis patients struggle to afford the basic care they need since Medicare doesn’t always cover the cost of the treatments and medications needed to [...]

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Review and/or Change your Medicare Health Plan

October 13th, 2021|

As a friendly reminder, the Medicare Open Enrollment period takes place annually from October 15 through December 7. This is your chance to review your current medical and prescription drug plan(s) to take note of any changes in the cost or coverage and, if needed, switch to another plan that may better meet your medical needs, save you money or both. Eligible enrollees have the option to select Original Medicare or opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. When considering Original Medicare, be sure to check if you’re eligible [...]

Dialysis patients need support from lawmakers

October 8th, 2021|

Dear Editor:   This December marks three years in my battle with kidney disease. My kidney failure diagnosis was hard to pin down, and without my husband, I am not sure I would still be here. My diagnosis came with a lot of things you’d expect: many hours spent in doctors’ offices and at dialysis treatment centers. What I didn’t know is that this diagnosis would also eventually put me in the hospital, with medical bills racking up the entire time  Of course, dialysis alone is expensive, especially [...]

Health Management Associates Find Minimal Cost to Enacting Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act

October 5th, 2021|

Updated October 5, 2021 Last week, DPC released a report by Health Management Associates (HMA) detailing the costs associated with the passage of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676), which would require insurers to make Medigap plans available to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65. Health policy experts often criticize Medigap's relief from cost sharing as adding to Medicare expenditures. However, using Medicare cost data from 2017-2019, HMA estimated that extending Medigap coverage to all ESRD patients under the age [...]

New bill offers much help for kidney patients

October 4th, 2021|

For four years, I have served my community as a social worker dedicated to helping dialysis patients. I have seen both the everyday problems kidney patients face and the larger issues with how our health care system handles them. There are a lot of obstacles that require more attention. Many patients on dialysis require trips to centers for treatments several times per week, and major problems arise when patients don’t have transportation to their treatment centers. When patients can’t get to the center, they fall behind on [...]

New bill would help dialysis patients

September 29th, 2021|

While I’ve never been diagnosed with it myself, kidney disease has touched just about every facet of my life. At home and at work, I’ve experienced firsthand just how much it can change a person’s life. From the treatments and waiting for a transplant, to the overwhelming financial challenges that can come with it, dialysis brings its own set of difficulties that are hard to fully understand unless you or someone you love is going through it. Kidney disease runs in my husband’s family, so we always knew he [...]

New bill for dialysis patients

September 26th, 2021|

It’s been four and a half years since my first kidney transplant failed after 18 years. For me, that’s meant many of the all-too-familiar challenges of being on dialysis have become part of my day-to-day life once again, including the long and exhausting treatments and all of the other health struggles that come with them. Part of what makes being on dialysis so tough is that it’s often difficult to get the coverage you need. I, for example, have found it difficult to get coverage for dental [...]

Dialysis patients need help to close Medicare gap

September 21st, 2021|

I’ve seen firsthand why Medigap coverage expansion is needed for dialysis patients, which is the goal of HR 1676, a bill introduced in Congress earlier this year. Since my kidney transplant in 2018, I have gone to dialysis clinics all over to help prepare kidney disease patients for their own transplants. Everywhere I go, I hear from patients struggling to afford the care they need. After a fall from a ladder, I woke up a month later in the hospital and discovered my kidneys had shut down. [...]

DPC Advocates Take Congress by Web Storm

September 21st, 2021|

DPC held its annual Congressional Advocacy Day on September 21st, which was another great success! More than a hundred and fifty DPC Patient Ambassadors, Board members, staff and dialysis partners participated in nearly 200 Congressional meetings throughout the day to lobby on two important federal bills that would provide greater financial security and improve the quality of life for dialysis patients: The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) would expand guaranteed issue rights to Medicare supplemental health insurance policies, known as Medigap, to all End [...]

Check Out DPC’s New Interactive Medigap Report Card

September 15th, 2021|

If you’re a dialysis patient under age 65 looking to purchase a Medigap plan, DPCs new interactive Medigap Report Card will help you understand the availability of Medigap coverage in your state. Medicare Supplemental Insurance, or Medigap, is provided by private insurance companies.  While federal law requires insurers to offer Medigap coverage to Medicare enrollees upon turning age 65, that protection does not extend to individuals under age 65 who are Medicare enrollees due to a diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Providing accessible, affordable Medigap coverage [...]

Alabama kidney patients need Congress to support Medigap Expansion Bill

September 10th, 2021|

Since I started dialysis in 2018, I’ve been lucky to have coverage that supplements Medicare and helps to keep my costs down. Even with that added coverage, though, I’ve noticed it is tough to afford all of the medicines I need. For patients without the additional coverage I have, that cost is even higher. When Medicare doesn’t pay for medication or dialysis treatment. That money comes out of their pocket, and the financial burden is just too much for some patients to take on. For the many [...]

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