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Both Sides of the Aisle Agree – We Need to Help Kidney Patients

2021-06-23T12:15:21+00:00June 9th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

On June 8, 2021, Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), a bipartisan, bicameral bill designed to not only raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but also improve understanding and access to treatment for patients, which includes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more that 1 in 7 US adults (about 37 million people) have CKD and that as many as 9 out of 10 of those adults [...]

DPC Board Member Donnie Anderson Addresses CDC Infection Control Conference

2021-05-26T19:26:02+00:00May 12th, 2021|Categories: Innovation, News, Patient's Voice|Tags: |

Recorded for the 2021 Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition Virtual Meeting DPC Board Member Donnie Anderson spoke on a panel entitled "COVID-19 from The Patient Perspective” at the CDC’s 2021 Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition meeting. The virtual conference held in May was the Coalition’s fourth meeting to advance efforts to prevent bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. The conference facilitated information-sharing and idea generation among dialysis and infection prevention experts.

New Year, New Administration Brings Changes to Medicare’s Kidney Demonstration Projects

2021-04-21T21:14:33+00:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program|

2021 was supposed to mark the beginning of three new Medicare programs to demonstrate innovations in kidney care, but a last-minute decision from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has suspended two of them. This action unfortunately leaves about 50,000 dialysis patients with a nine-month gap in extra assistance they were receiving from a successful program that expired March 31. Here is the rundown on the current landscape of Medicare demonstration projects that impact dialysis patients. Demonstration projects are used by Medicare to test new models of care and/or new models of paying providers within Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program. [...]

DPC’s Letter to Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator for CMMI

2021-04-14T17:48:35+00:00March 8th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

Ms. Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation 2810 Lord Baltimore Drive Windsor Mill, MD 21244. Dear Ms. Fowler: We are seeking a bottom-up review of the ESRD Treatment Choice (ETC) demonstration including consideration of other options to pilot innovations to improve home dialysis take-up and kidney transplantation. Like other kidney advocates, we appreciated the long-overdue cabinet-level attention that was paid to these issues under the Trump administration. But, the ETC program is flawed in concept and execution, and represents a missed opportunity to address pressing problems. As explained in greater detail below, we think it would be [...]

Recent Healthcare Activity Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

2021-01-27T16:49:44+00:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage|

The past two years have seen a flurry of activity aimed at addressing "social determinants of health” (SDOH) that historically get short shrift in the health care system. SDOH refers to the range of social, environmental, and economic factors that can influence health status—conditions that can often have a greater impact on health outcomes than the actual delivery of health services. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to state health officials encouraging strategies in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to improve health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and lower overall costs in Medicaid [...]

In Rejecting Prop 23, California Voters Protect Patient Access to Care

2020-12-08T19:53:35+00:00November 10th, 2020|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, State Advocacy|

California voters overwhelmingly opposed Proposition 23, a statewide measure that threatened dialysis patient access to care. It was the second ballot measure in California proposed by a labor union in the last two years and the second resounding defeat for the union, and this time by an even wider margin than in 2018. DPC was part of a broad and diverse coalition that included other patient advocacy organizations, dialysis providers and caregivers, and groups representing physicians, nurses, veterans and social justice communities that opposed this harmful measure because it threatened patients’ access to care and would have increased overall health care costs [...]

CMS Announces Penalties and Rewards for Promoting Home Dialysis and Transplants

2020-09-22T14:49:34+00:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Dialysis Funding, Transplant Donor Protection, Treatment Options|

On September 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. The ETC Model was a cornerstone of President Trump’s Advancing Kidney Health Executive Order in 2019. It encourages an increased use of home dialysis and kidney transplants in approximately 30 percent of dialysis facilities and nephrology practices and will be implemented on January 1, 2021. CMS estimated reduced expenditures of $23 million over five and a half years, anticipating that providers assigned to the program will be penalized for not meeting standards. DPC and many other kidney groups opposed this [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Increase Dialysis Patient Quality Care

2020-09-22T15:12:47+00:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Care Coordination, Comment Letter, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program, Treatment Options|

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: Protect Access for Costlier Patients by Completing Reconsideration of Case-Mix Adjusters Protect Access for Patients in Disadvantaged Regions by Addressing Social Risk Factors Focus [...]

DPC’s 2020 Annual Membership Survey is Live!

2020-12-08T19:51:50+00:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Get Involved, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Quality Incentive Program, Take Action, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

Elevate the Voice of Patients with Kidney Disease and Their Caregivers Our 2020 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 21. We are counting on your participation, as patient feedback helps to shape our public policy agenda and patient education priorities for the next year. This year we ask that both patients and caregivers take our survey. Rest assured your responses will remain completely anonymous. We only share the overall survey results with state and federal level policy makers, so they will better understand your needs, experiences, and preferences. Your feedback is crucial. Therefore, we will [...]

Increasing State Policy Maker Outreach to Better Support our Members During COVID-19

2020-09-24T16:21:40+00:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, State Advocacy|Tags: |

DPC works tirelessly on behalf of its patient members to elevate their voice and concerns to elected officials about policy issues that impact ESRD patients. As you know, DPC has expanded its state advocacy efforts over the past year and added two staff members who focus on state issues and government relations. So, how does an organization continue this level of engagement during a pandemic when state legislatures are recessed, and social distancing doesn’t allow face-to-face interactions? Moreover, most state governments are focused solely on fighting COVID-19 and not passing bills or expanding regulation unrelated to COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis [...]

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