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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medigap Bill A Welcome Change for Mississippi Dialysis Patients

2022-06-30T12:20:11+00:00June 27th, 2022|Categories: Featured Spotlight, Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Kristal pictured with her husband, Ernest Higgins. Photo by Cameron B. Potts My kidney transplant failing in 2017 changed my life. I went back on dialysis for the first time since 2012 and was spending more time in the hospital than I had before. Then, I lost my job and the insurance coverage it provided, and I had to go back on Medicare, which didn’t cover the whole cost of dialysis and forced me to pay up to 20 percent of the cost of my treatments. I’m not alone, either. Dialysis patients all over the country struggle to [...]

Dialysis patients under 65 face major cost hurdle

2022-05-24T14:57:15+00:00May 3rd, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Starting dialysis felt like being swooped into a cage with no warning. At the height of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found out the chemotherapy treatments for my breast cancer had contributed to my kidneys failing and I needed to start on dialysis immediately. The next two weeks were a lonely and frightening experience, and I wouldn’t have survived without my medical team’s quick work and my family’s support. After those initial two weeks in the hospital, I spent three months going through four-hour dialysis treatments three times each week. Something that didn’t pose as big an issue for [...]

Support S 2194

2022-04-26T20:20:41+00:00March 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

March 28, 2022 The Honorable Joshua Miller, Chair The Honorable Bridgett G. Valverde, Vice Chair The Honorable Valarie J. Lawson, Secretary Members, Senate Health and Human Services Committee Rhode Island General Assembly RE: Support S 2194 Dear Chair Miller, Vice Chair Valverde, Secretary Lawson, Members of the Committee: As a kidney dialysis patient residing in Woonsocket, a volunteer Patient Ambassador of Dialysis Patient Citizens and on behalf of the more than 1,800(i) fellow Rhode Island residents with End State Renal Disease (ESRD), I write to ask your support of S 2194, which will provide access to fair and equitable Medicare [...]

HB 430 – Letter of Support

2022-03-08T15:54:59+00:00February 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

February 28, 2022 The Honorable Bart Rowland, Chair The Honorable Derek Lewis, Vice Chair House Banking & Insurance Committee Kentucky General Assembly 700 Capitol Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601 RE: HB 430 - SUPPORT Dear Chair Rowland, Vice Chair Lewis and Members of the Committee: My name is James O. “Hap” Strunk. I am a resident of Whitley City, serve as Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, and also one of the more than 9,000 (i) Kentuckians with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). From my volunteer role as a Patient Ambassador for Dialysis Patient Citizens, I write [...]

Dialysis patients need support from lawmakers

2022-02-04T18:00:29+00:00October 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

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 when patients must pay for any costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. And, for many dialysis [...]

Legislations would provide help for dialysis patients

2022-05-24T14:50:22+00:00September 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

I’ve lived on dialysis for 22 years, but there was a time when my kidney disease almost took my life. Through dialysis and a failed kidney transplant, though, I’ve done my best to stay upbeat and am excited to get another transplant kidney soon, hopefully. While it’s been a tough road, I’ve at least had the coverage I need to pay for my treatments. A lot of patients I’ve met only have Medicare, which doesn’t always cover their treatments and medications. Instead, they have to pay out-of-pocket costs as high as 20% of the cost of their treatments. Congress can [...]

Letter: Bill can ease costs

2021-11-01T15:26:48+00:00September 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Starting dialysis 12 years ago at 28 completely changed my life. I had to begin going to a clinic for the hours-long treatments that dialysis involves, and the treatments, as well as their effects, forced me to end my career as an EMT. It was a difficult adjustment to make, but I’ve at least been fortunate enough to have supplemental insurance coverage through my wife’s work that helps to cover the cost of my treatments. Without that additional coverage, we’d have to find a way to make up for the 20 percent of the cost Medicare doesn’t pay for. Under [...]

Expanding Medigap coverage

2021-09-01T17:14:16+00:00June 21st, 2021|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

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 Medicare doesn’t cover the whole cost of their treatment. No one should have [...]

Former firefighter advocates for fellow renal failure patients

2021-07-12T19:31:03+00:00June 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

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 not prohibitive for me,” Peeler explained. “My job provided me with good insurance [...]

Opinion | Letter: Pass Kidney-care Bill

2021-06-03T16:31:14+00:00June 1st, 2021|Categories: Care Coordination, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Spotlight|

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 care coordination, a lot of these problems could be relieved. Thankfully, Congress is [...]

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