Dialysis Patient Citizens News

Mark Your Calendar for our February Patient Ambassador Call

January 17th, 2020|

Please join us on February 13 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern for our first Patient Ambassador call of 2020! Please RSVP to let us know you can attend the call. Call Details are below: Date: Thursday, February 13, 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): Thank you for elevating the voice of dialysis patients by representing DPC as a leader in your community. [...]

Action Alert – Secure Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

January 12th, 2020|

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019 (H.R. 5534) was recently introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX). This legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressant 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 patients bodies from rejecting a new donor kidney. Right now, Medicare only covers immunosuppressive drugs for 36 months after a patient receives a kidney transplant. [...]

Court Temporarily Blocks AB 290, Allowing Charitable Assistance Program to Continue Serving Dialysis Patients Pending Trial Outcome

January 8th, 2020|

DPC works hard to protect patient access to quality care for all dialysis patients, which is often only possible with the support charitable assistance from organizations such as the American Kidney Fund (AKF). Unfortunately, a new law recently enacted in California threatens that access. DPC quickly joined AKF and two patients as plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to prevent this newly passed law from going into effect at the start of 2020. In late December, we were pleased that the court recognized our concerns of potential patient harm, [...]

Medigap Coverage Gains Support in New Legislation

January 4th, 2020|

During recent discussions on drug pricing legislation, House leadership decided to use some of the potential savings to pay for some of our priorities. One such provision would provide all dialysis patients with access to Medigap—a supplemental insurance plan which helps patients pay for the expenses not covered by Medicare. This priority was originally included in the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S. 1676/ H.R. 3912) or “Kidney Bill.” Under Federal law, Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older are guaranteed access to Medigap [...]

Happy Holidays and DPC’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2019

December 20th, 2019|

Dialysis Patient Citizens wants to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday, as well as a safe and healthy New Year. Our offices will be closed for the holidays starting December 23 through January 1. We also want to take this opportunity to share our list of Top 10 Accomplishments for 2019, which would not have been possible without your support. Thank you again for helping us elevate the dialysis patient voice with policy makers. We are extremely grateful for all of your advocacy efforts, and we look forward [...]

Trump Administration Proposes New Rules to Increase Accountability and Availability of the Organ Supply

December 17th, 2019|

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today took major steps to increase the availability of organs for the 113,000 Americans on waitlists for lifesaving organ transplants – 20 of whom die each day. As directed by President Trump in his July 10 Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing a proposed rule to change the way organ procurement organizations (OPOs) are held accountable for their performance, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is issuing [...]

Advocacy Day Application Deadline Extended 1 Week

December 14th, 2019|

Good news—the deadline to apply for DPC's 2020 Advocacy Day in Washington, DC has been extended one week to Friday, December 20! We want to elevate the patient voice with policy makers with a strong and united group of advocates from all 50 states. Become a leader in your community by applying, and you could be the voice for dialysis patients with your state lawmakers in our nation’s capital.  We understand that the holidays are an especially busy time of year for many people, and we hope [...]

DPC Board of Directors Elect New President

December 9th, 2019|

Andrew Conkling Andrew Conkling was elected as the new president for Dialysis Patient Citizens by DPC's Board of Directors, effective immediately. Conkling has served as DPC Vice President since 2016, participated in a number of DPC's Advocacy Days and met with lawmakers to discuss kidney disease issues from his home state of Alabama. He has also served as a DPC Patient Ambassador, clinic patient representative and done community outreach by sharing his personal experiences with young people. "It is an honor to be selected as DPC's [...]

DPC Meets with Oregon State Legislatures to Protect Patient Care

December 2nd, 2019|

DPC staff standing in front of Oregon State Capitol In mid-November, DPC staff traveled to Salem, Oregon, to attend an informational hearing held by the Oregon House Committee on Health Care regarding outpatient dialysis treatment. The hearing focused on issues such as improving and expanding patient access to care while exploring ways in which to lower the cost of health care delivry for dialysis patients. While there, DPC staff also took the opportunity to meet individually with nearly all the Members of the House and [...]

Congressman Payne Jr. Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration

November 20th, 2019|

Congressman Donald Payne Jr. sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration, which is the rule that pertains to increasing the number of home dialysis treatments and kidney transplants. Payne focused on the importance of protecting and prioritizing patient choice. Specifically, he explained that home dialysis is not always an optimal treatment option for patients due to a lack of caregiver support and the necessary space requirements needed for this treatment. Payne provides a unique perspective to [...]

DPC’s Advocacy Day Application is OPEN! Apply by December 13, 2019

November 13th, 2019|

DPC is pleased to invite you to apply for our 2020 Advocacy Day! We are very fortunate that we are able to bring dialysis patients to Washington, D.C. each year to meet with their elected officials. This provides advocates like you with the unique opportunity to make your voice heard on behalf of dialysis patients from your state in order to improve dialysis care. Next year is no exception. We will meet with Members of Congress and their staff on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 with a comprehensive training [...]

DPC Fights for Patient Access in California

November 7th, 2019|

DPC is participating in a lawsuit against the state of California after a bill was passed by the Legislature that jeopardizes patient access to charitable assistance. The new law (known as Assembly Bill 290) was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom last month. Conditions in the new law practically eliminates charitable assistance, which has helped thousands of low-income patients in California pay for their health insurance. The law will take effect January 1, 2020 unless the judge orders the delay DPC is requesting. DPC is fighting similar legislation [...]

Patients and Advocacy Groups File Federal Lawsuit Against the State of California to Overturn AB 290

November 4th, 2019|

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Two kidney failure patients, together with two patient advocacy groups—the American Kidney Fund (AKF) and Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC)—filed a federal lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the State of California. The lawsuit, Doe vs. Becerra, asks the court to strike down AB 290, the newly enacted law that will do irreversible harm to dialysis and transplant patients who need charitable assistance to help them pay for health care. Filed against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Shelley Rouillard, Director of [...]

DPC Advocates for Patient Access to Private Health Insurance

October 30th, 2019|

DPC filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit to protect patient access to private health insurance coverage. This is one of a number of lawsuits challenging discrimination by employer health plans in how they pay for dialysis. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients are protected by the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP), which permits ESRD patients to remain on their private health insurance plans for 30 months before they must enroll in Medicare. To protect this right from being chipped away, Congress prohibited health plans from making any distinctions in [...]

Meet our Newest Board Members and Get Site Visit Tips During November’s Patient Ambassador Call

October 24th, 2019|

Join us next month on November 14 at 2:00 pm ET for our upcoming Patient Ambassador call. We will be introducing our newest Board members and discussing strategies for scheduling a facility tour with your lawmaker. Please RSVP to let us know you can attend the call. Check out our accompanying handout for this call. Learn more about our Patient Ambassador program. Call Details are below: Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019 Time: 2:00 PM ET, 1:00 PM CT, 12:00 PM MT, 11:00 AM PT Follow these instructions at the time [...]

Congress Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration

October 18th, 2019|

This month Members of Congress reached out to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the ETC Model, which is the same rule DPC commented on last month that pertains to increasing the number of home dialysis treatments and kidney transplants. In the letter, lawmakers raised concerns that parallel many of the priorities DPC advocates for in order to improve dialysis patient care. Specifically, the letter addressed: Improving access to care and treatment options Promoting patient choice Advancing care coordination Increasing access to transplant With over [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Improve Dialysis Patient Quality of Life

October 11th, 2019|

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: Transitional Add-On Payment Adjustment for New and Innovative Equipment and Supplies [...]

Donor Protection Bill Signed into Law While Care Access Bill Now in the Hands of California Governor

September 23rd, 2019|

As temperatures cool and the California legislature winds down from a flurry of late summer activity, two bills that would impact kidney disease patients recently landed on Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature or veto. We’re thrilled that the bill seeking to increase access to transplants by strengthening protections for living organ donors was just signed into law. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate, after a similar unanimous passage in the Assembly earlier this year. DPC supports this bill because it helps remove barriers for kidney [...]

Action Alert – Urge Your Legislators to Help Dialysis Patients by Supporting the Kidney Bill

September 17th, 2019|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) works hard to promote financial security as financial hardships are common for many people with end-stage renal disease. Congress has introduced a bill that would decrease the financial burden experienced by many dialysis patients and improve their access to care. The bill—known as the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2019 (S. 1676/ H.R. 3912)—would amend current law to ensure ESRD patients under the age of 65 have access to Medigap plans. Without a supplemental insurance like Medigap, Medicare [...]

DPC Advocates for Improved Patient Access to Care with State Lawmakers

September 11th, 2019|

Last month, DPC spoke with lawmakers at the National Conference of State Legislatures about the importance of having access to a supplemental insurance like Medigap to help pay for the deductibles and co-pays not covered by Medicare. When Medigap plans were first introduced, Congress only guaranteed issue of these plans to traditional Medicare beneficiaries and therefore did not extend this protection to those who gain Medicare coverage prior to age 65, including people with end-stage renal disease. Currently, only 28 states offer Medigap plans to people on dialysis. People [...]