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About Hannah Bracamonte

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So far Hannah Bracamonte has created 402 blog entries.

Bill helps kidney patients get needed coverage

2021-07-23T16:30:17+00:00July 21st, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

Starting dialysis in 2016 showed me there are a lot of challenges patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) face. There are major lifestyle differences, and treatments take several hours multiple days each week. While I can do these treatments from home at night, lots of other patients need to make trips to their local clinics, which takes an exhausting toll. One of the biggest challenges for many patients, though, is the cost of the treatments and medications. Over time, those costs get overwhelming and can force patients and families to make difficult decisions that they should never have to worry [...]

It Works When We Work Together – 2021 State Legislature Recap

2021-07-21T17:40:29+00:00July 19th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Medigap Coverage, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

Nearly two years ago, DPC expanded its advocacy footprint to establish a state advocacy program to complement our ongoing federal efforts and in response to states increasing their role in health care policy and the delivery system which impacts dialysis patients’ access to quality care. While Congress continues its work through the remainder of 2021, a majority of state legislatures have already adjourned for this calendar year. Forty-six (46) state legislatures hold annual regular sessions and four states (MT, ND, NV and TX) hold biennial regular sessions, meeting every other year. Working with a number of our Patient Ambassadors throughout [...]

Kidney patients need Medigap expansion

2021-07-19T12:48:16+00:00July 16th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

While my husband was on dialysis, and even since his kidney transplant, getting affordable coverage has felt impossible. If Medicare doesn’t cover something, we have to scramble to afford it, which was a massive challenge given his dialysis treatments got up to $15,000 and medications can cost $3,000 each month. This shouldn’t happen. We need lawmakers to pass bills that make coverage more accessible for patients, like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. It would help make Medigap coverage more accessible to dialysis patients under 65, so they don’t go through what my husband and I have. Patients can’t [...]

Letter: Congress should expand Medigap coverage

2021-07-15T19:50:11+00:00July 15th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

For a lot of patients, starting dialysis means not being able to work anymore. Thankfully, with my job I can work from home when I’m doing my treatments, which has been hugely beneficial in helping me stay employed and get the coverage I need. The situation is very different for a lot of other patients, though, who can’t continue to work and get coverage. Instead, they rely solely on Medicare, which means if Medicare doesn’t fully cover a treatment or medication, they pay big out-of-pocket costs. That’s why we need Congress to pass bills like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap [...]

Voice of the Reader: Support the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act

2021-07-07T17:23:35+00:00July 7th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

To the Editor: There is a bill which would expand Medigap Coverage to Illinois patients who need it. My story with kidney disease goes back more than 10 years to when my mom stepped in and donated one of her kidneys to me. While that was an invaluable gift on her part, that transplant failed a few years ago, and I was put on aggressive medication that meant I was given a choice between my kidneys and my life. My own struggles have made me want to be there for others who are worse off than me. While I thankfully [...]

Urge Congress to Support the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act!

2021-07-21T13:54:03+00:00July 6th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Take Action|

Expanding Medigap coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease patients of all ages is a critical step to eliminating financial barriers to care, especially when it comes to transplantation. Congresswomen Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03) recently introduced the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) in honor of DPC founding Board member and our longest-serving president Jack Reynolds. This important bill would guarantee access to Medigap coverage for patients under 65 who suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are already 19 bi-partisan co-sponsors who are working to ensure ESRD patients can obtain insurance coverage to pay for the [...]

Dialysis patients need new Medigap bill

2021-07-01T16:38:36+00:00July 1st, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in 2016 when my kidneys began to fail. While I was undergoing dialysis, I received full coverage for my treatments and medications through disability insurance, but many other patients aren’t fortunate to have coverage and are left to pay massive medical bills. Thankfully, help is on the way. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, a bipartisan bill in Congress, would help dialysis patients who worry about their cost of care. This bill would expand Medigap coverage for dialysis patients under 65 so that every patient can get the treatments and [...]

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Payments for End-Stage Renal Disease

2021-07-21T13:48:02+00:00July 1st, 2021|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

On July 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) annual rulemaking. This proposed rule would update ESRD PPS payment rates, make changes to the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP), and modify the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model for 2022. The proposed changes to the ETC Model policies aim to encourage dialysis providers to decrease disparities in rates of home dialysis and kidney transplants among ESRD patients with lower socioeconomic status, making the model the agency’s first CMS Innovation Center project to address health equity. The ETC model rewards ESRD facilities and [...]

Letters to the Editor

2021-06-28T20:41:03+00:00June 27th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

One certainty in life is that all of us will be tested by circumstances out of our control. For me, it was kidney failure, and since 2007 I've been on dialysis. I'm very blessed that I was able to receive this care, and that I've been able to live a healthy and happy life thanks to the support of a loving family. However, a lot of dialysis patients today can't afford the lifesaving treatments they need. That's why it is so important to pass the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, a bill that would expand coverage for out-of-pocket costs [...]

Medigap expansion could clear major obstacle for kidney patients

2021-06-25T16:21:40+00:00June 24th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

After three difficult years on dialysis, I received a kidney transplant last fall through the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Marine Corps veteran. While I don't have dialysis treatments anymore, I keep touch with everyone I met at my dialysis center and find new ways to help patients. In these conversations, one topic seems to come up more than just about any other: high costs. Navigating Medicare, which many dialysis patients need for treatments, is a tricky and confusing process that gets more complicated if you don't have Medigap insurance to cover what Medicare doesn't. Sadly, that's the reality [...]

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