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“Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act” Signed into Law

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00September 25th, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Advance Patient Choice, Article, News|

On Friday, September 22, 2023, the President signed into law H.R. 2544, the “Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act,” which allows for the award of multiple grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to operate the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. This bill would open up the number of groups that can help operate the transplant network and help to speed up the process for organ transplants. The bill was introduced by Representatives Bucshon (R-IN) and Kelly (D-IL) and Senators Wyden (D-OR), Grassley (R-IA), Cardin (D-MD), Young (R-IN), and Cassidy (R-LA). We want to thank these Members of Congress for [...]

DPC Commentary Discusses How Workforce Shortages Impact Patients

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00September 20th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Promote Financial Security, Staffing Shortages, Uncategorized|

A commentary about workforce shortage issues authored by DPC Vice President of Public Policy Jackson Williams amplifies findings from this summer’s DPC member survey to explain how ESRD patients have been impacted. The article also discusses how Medicare policies must adapt for an era with fewer working-age Americans and more retirees. The article is available on AJMC’s website: https://www.ajmc.com/view/contributor-medicare-s-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce, as well as on DPC’s website: https://www.dialysispatients.org/news/medicares-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce/.

AJMC Contributor Article: Medicare’s Leadership Needs to Confront Our Shrinking US Workforce

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00September 17th, 2023|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, News, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, Staffing Shortages|

Written by Jackson Williams, JD, DPC Vice President of Public Policy Medicare’s administered pricing system has never had to deal with labor scarcity before. Fifteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine issued its report, “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce,” that warned of looming health workforce shortages due to demographic changes. The era foreseen by that report has likely arrived. Labor shortages are beginning to impact patient care. Media reports indicate numerous instances of hospitals declaring “contingency standards of care” or ordering ambulance diversions due to staffing shortages. I’m an advocate for patients who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), who [...]

Medicare Policy Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Those on Dialysis

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00September 8th, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Policy Issues, Staffing Shortages, Treatment Options|

CEOs of 3 kidney care organizations explain flaws in CMS' recent reimbursement proposal. In recent years, lawmakers have turned their attention to advancing health equity and creating opportunities for the improvement of historically underserved communities—and rightly so. The urgent need for such improvements is dramatically apparent for people who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure. While people of all races and ethnicities develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) at similar rates, ESRD disproportionately impacts people of color. Black Americans make up 13% of the US population, but the disparities are evident when one considers that they account for 35% of Americans with [...]

DPC Raises Alarm on Health Workforce Shortages

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00August 23rd, 2023|Categories: Article, Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

DPC’s letter commenting on this year’s ESRD Payment Rule warns that Medicare is not addressing workforce shortages that are impacting patient care. The letter reports the following findings from our recent member survey: 62% of patients reported that the recent labor shortages had impacted their care: 43% said that staff turnover disrupted their care; 28% reported delays to their treatment; and 7% reported that they had to change shifts or facilities. In 2013, in response to a question about wait times at facilities, the same proportion of patients, 14%, reported increases in wait times as decreases in wait times. This year, [...]

DPC Elevates Patient Advocacy Work to State Lawmakers

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00August 17th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, Policy Issues, State Advocacy|

Over August 14 – 16, 2023, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) spent time advocating for dialysis patients at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Annual Legislative Summit, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yolanda Brisbane, Grassroots Manager and State Advocacy Directors, Elizabeth Lively and Pamela Zielske spoke with lawmakers from across the nation about issues that impact dialysis patients. With more than 6,000 legislators and staff in attendance, the NCSL conference was a tremendous opportunity to elevate our advocacy work with state policymakers. Conversations also extended to delegations from around the globe, as attendees from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal, India, Brazil, Germany, [...]

OP-ED Calls for equal Medigap coverage for all Medicare Enrollees

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00August 8th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage|

In a compelling opinion piece authored by Rich Sutphin, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rural Health Association, the call was made to West Virginia policymakers to ensure that their constituents were treated equally regarding access to affordable Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance coverage. The opinion piece was picked up by newspapers across the state, including The Herald Dispatch, The Weston Democrat, Mineral News and Tribune, The Jackson Star and Herald, The Wayne County News, The Preston County News and Journal and the West Virginia Press Association. You can read the op-ed here: https://wvpress.org/wvpa-sharing/opinion-west-virginia-kidney-patients-deserve-access-to-care-at-any-age/ DPC invites you to share your story in [...]

Affordable Medigap Access Now Available in Rhode Island, Kentucky and Virginia Coming Soon!

2024-03-29T01:09:16+00:00July 25th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, State Advocacy|

During 2022 and 2023, DPC worked tirelessly to secure passage of legislation providing access to affordable Medigap coverage for under age 65 kidney failure patients living in three states. Those states – Kentucky, Rhode Island and Virginia, are creating regulations to implement the new state laws. The law in Rhode Island became effective July 1, 2023. In Kentucky and Virginia, the laws passed this year become effective January 1, 2024. If you live in one of these states and are not yet age 65, check with your dialysis facility finance or social workers to learn more about the Medigap Plans being [...]

Medicare Payment Rule for 2024 Shortchanges Dialysis Clinics on Rising Wages

2024-03-29T01:09:17+00:00July 6th, 2023|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Promote Financial Security|

As kidney and other healthcare providers face workforce shortages, inflation, and higher wage demands, the federal agency which oversees Medicare is proposing a mere 1.7% increase in dialysis reimbursements for 2024. According to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wages and salaries increased 5.0% during the last year and increased 4.7% the year before; after insufficient updates over the past two years, Medicare payments are falling far behind the actual costs for clinic staff, potentially threatening patient access to care. Unlike updates to Social Security checks, which are determined by BLS inflation data, Medicare uses “forecasts” of future inflation. [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Mourns the Loss of Terry Peeler

2024-03-29T01:09:17+00:00June 1st, 2023|Categories: Article, Board Members, Medigap Coverage|

It is with a heavy heart that Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) Board, staff, and volunteers learned of the passing of one of our Board Members, Terry Peeler. Terry was the first African American full-time Fire Chief and paramedic in Sumter County, Alabama, appointed in the year 2000. He proudly served as a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Livingston, Alabama. He was also elected Sumter County Coroner in 1999, a position he had been re-elected to. In October of 2016, Terry was diagnosed with end stage kidney disease and had to start dialysis, which meant retiring from his career as [...]

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