By Jessica N., Director of Public Affairs

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am the Director of Public Affairs for Dialysis Patient Citizens. That means I create and coordinate the communications that come out of the DPC office, including the Patient Citizen that is on its way to your mailbox. I also work with our policy team on federal initiatives that impact dialysis patients, including changes to Medicare, the “bundle” and QIP and efforts to make sure all of you can take advantage of new policies put in place through health reform.

Because my work at DPC is different each day, this will be reflected in my blog posts. My posts will be about everything from the latest news on dialysis, to work we are doing here in the office and changes and updates to Medicare and health reform implementation. I hope to keep it relevant, fresh and interesting and I am always open to reader-suggested stories!

To kick things off, I wanted talk about a meeting DPC recently had with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (The Innovation Center or CMMI). The Innovation Center was created to study new ways to deliver better care and reduce costs for Medicare patients, including dialysis patients. The entire kidney care community is working with CMMI on a new care model for dialysis patients that will help to coordinate all the care dialysis patients receive – making it easier for patients and better for providers. At the meeting, several kidney organizations met with leadership from CMMI to discuss the ideas that we had and what was important to patients as they start to plan out this new model. We were incredibly thankful for how closely CMMI listened to our suggestions and concerns and left the meeting feeling encouraged that patient groups will have a substantial say in how this project moves forward.

The new care model would only be a pilot, affecting a percentage of the dialysis population, but if it is successful it can be brought to all facilities across the US. It is in very early stages but we look forward to working with CMMI and the kidney care community on this exciting opportunity to improve care for dialysis patients!

If you have input on how you feel your care can be better coordinated, I would love to hear them!