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Rhode Island Passes Medigap Access Legislation

2022-06-27T15:42:50+00:00June 24th, 2022|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage|

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the Rhode Island General Assembly held the final vote leading to passage of two bills granting access to Medigap coverage for dialysis patients under age 65. Sponsored by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-District 38), Speaker Pro Tempore, and Senator Dennis L. Algiere (R-District 38), Senate Minority Leader, H 7244 and S 2194 require that Medicare supplement policies be made available to any applicant under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to a disability or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The legislative language in these bills (which is identical) specifies that Medicare Supplement Plan A be made [...]

Supreme Court Erases Kidney Patients’ Insurance Protections

2022-06-27T15:36:53+00:00June 22nd, 2022|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has nullified the law that protects dialysis patients from discrimination by insurers, threatening the system of financing kidney care that has stood for 40 years. The Court ruled that employer health plans may limit dialysis benefits. For four decades, employers understood the law as prohibiting limitations that only applied to dialysis. Some health benefit consultants encouraged a few small employers to disregard the law by paying no more than Medicare rates for dialysis. DaVita sued them, and one of the cases was appealed to the Supreme Court. The decision means that employers and insurers can impose [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Statement Following Supreme Court Decision in Marietta Memorial Hospital v. Davita

2022-06-21T19:04:08+00:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: Medicare Advantage, Press Release, Protect Patient Care|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 21, 2022) -- Following the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Marietta Memorial Hospital v. Davita, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) Board of Directors President Andrew Conkling issued the following statement: “DPC is deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “Congress long ago reaffirmed privately-insured patients’ right to continue on their employer-sponsored plan for 30 months. This played an important role in preserving patient choice and incentivizing insurers to detect and treat Chronic Kidney Disease. ESRD patients are among the most vulnerable Americans and face some of the largest health [...]

What Patients Should Know About Value-Based Care

2022-05-24T19:27:54+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC is a strong advocate of Value-Based Care. Value-Based Care means that your primary providers accept a single payment or budgeted amount to cover all your medical needs. For instance, if you are in a program like Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (or CKCC, formerly known as the ESCO program) your dialysis provider and nephrologist take responsibility for all your care—not just kidney care but other conditions, such as diabetes, and other sites of care, such as hospitals. There are currently three types of value-based care programs that kidney patients may be in: Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) – you are [...]

DPC Hosts Successful 2022 Congressional Advocacy Day

2022-05-24T18:57:59+00:00May 13th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Promote Financial Security|

On Thursday, May 12th, DPC hosted its’ annual Advocacy Day when we connect patients, family members, and Partners in Care with their Members of Congress so they can tell their story with dialysis and advocate for legislative priorities that would help them. Once again, out of an abundance of caution, our advocacy day was virtual, but we were still able to have wonderful participation. This year we had 113 participants who participated in 113 meetings and represented 29 states. They talked with their Congressional offices about The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act which would give all ESRD patients access to [...]

Elevating Dialysis Patient Voices Bolsters State Advocacy Victories

2022-04-28T14:57:36+00:00April 27th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage|

As many 2022 state legislative sessions are winding down or have recently wrapped-up, it is a good time to update DPC members on state legislation important to dialysis patients. The participation of our Patient Ambassadors in DPC’s advocacy efforts has been really beneficial in educating legislators to help them make more-informed decisions on legislation that impacts End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. Improving access to affordable Medicare Supplemental Insurance (a.k.a., Medigap) plans is a top priority for DPC, and legislation was introduced in multiple states: Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, and [...]

DPC Urges Continuity of Care for Medicaid Enrollees with Chronic Health Conditions When Eligibility Redeterminations Resume

2022-04-28T14:53:50+00:00April 21st, 2022|Categories: Article, Medicaid, Protect Patient Care|

Two years ago, Congress mandated a pause on Medicaid eligibility redeterminations during the COVID Public Health Emergency. The emergency declaration is expected to end soon, and states will again require Medicaid enrollees prove their eligibility. As many as 15 million enrollees are expected to lose their coverage, mostly because they have accepted higher-paying jobs, but others may slip through the cracks due to address changes and the like. DPC has written to the federal Medicaid director asking that CMS and the states make a special effort to ensure continuity of coverage for patients with chronic diseases, such as CKD, hypertension, and [...]

DPC’s Letter to Dr. Meena Seshamani, Deputy Administrator and Director for CMS

2022-03-18T14:25:45+00:00March 7th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Increase Quality of Care, Policy Issues, Protect Patient Care|

March 7, 2022 Dr. Meena Seshamani Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:      Dialysis Workforce Issues Dear Dr. Seshamani: We are writing to express our concerns about shortages of labor and supplies that are causing disruptions in dialysis treatments. We urge CMS and its sister operating divisions in HHS to develop plans for health care workforce generally and dialysis workforce in particular; and to make whatever adjustments are necessary to Medicare payment policy necessary to assure patients’ access to care. To the best of our recollection, the U.S. is experiencing a tight labor market [...]

DPC Urges Medicare Officials to Take Action on Dialysis Workforce Shortages

2022-03-22T13:00:50+00:00March 7th, 2022|Categories: Article, Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC has written to top Medicare officials asking that they develop policy options to address the current labor shortage. The letter notes that the lengthy rulemaking process used to update payments to healthcare providers is ill-suited to react to urgent changes in the labor market. Fourteen years ago, the prestigious Institute of Medicine warned that as Americans aged, there would be fewer workers to take care of more elderly and disabled individuals. DPC’s letter urges officials to take another look at the report, which recommended “wage pass through” components of provider payments to address rising wages and delegating more responsibilities to [...]

Final ESCO Evaluation Documents Care Coordination Success Story

2022-03-22T12:48:08+00:00March 2nd, 2022|Categories: Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

Medicare’s Comprehensive ESRD Care Model was designed to identify, test, and evaluate new ways to improve care for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. It established ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) that brought dialysis clinics and nephrologists together to coordinate patients’ kidney- and non-kidney care. This demonstration project ended last year and was replaced by a similar one this year. The Medicare Innovation Center has released the final evaluation report for the ESCOs. Overall, the ESCOs showed modest but statistically significant results over the five performance years, reducing Medicare expenditures. The number of hospitalizations decreased 3% and the percent of beneficiaries with [...]

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