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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 [...]

Lawmakers Come Together to Help Transplant Patients

2024-03-29T01:09:17+00:00May 25th, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Advance Patient Choice, Article|

Earlier this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and unanimously passed H.R. 2544 - The Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act.  This bill was introduced by Rep. Bucshon (R-IN) and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Senator Grassley (R-IA) and Chairman Wyden (D-OR) and would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organ transplantation process. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has held a monopoly over the contract to manage organ distribution since 1984. Recent reports have raised concerns about how this monopoly affects the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). This legislation [...]

DPC advises dialysis patients covered by Medicaid to update contact information

2024-03-29T01:09:17+00:00May 13th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medicaid|

Many states used additional federal funding to expand Medicaid enrollment during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), first declared by the US Department of Health and Human Services on January 31, 2020 and ending May 11, 2023. With the end of the PHE, many federal programs and funding – including the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement and accompanying federal funding – will be ending. While it is unlikely that dialysis patients who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid (known as dual eligibles) will lose their Medicaid coverage, DPC is urging that they make sure the state has their current contact [...]

House Introduction of the Living Donor Protection Act

2024-03-29T01:09:18+00:00May 1st, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care|

On April 27th, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH), Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Congressman Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (R-NC), and joined by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), introduced the Living Donor Protection Act to protect the rights of living organ donors. This legislation would prohibit life, disability, and long-term care insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage and from charging higher premiums for living organ donors; It would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 [...]

What Patients Should Know About Medicare’s New Immunosuppressive Drug Benefit

2024-03-29T01:09:18+00:00April 18th, 2023|Categories: Article, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Medicare Advantage, News|

It had always seemed illogical that Medicare coverage for under-65 ESRD patients ends 36 months after a successful kidney transplant. Why would Medicare make a huge investment in a transplant and then stop paying to safeguard the organ from rejection? For this reason, decades ago kidney care advocates sought a new Medicare benefit extending coverage for immunosuppressive drugs. This bill finally became law in December 2020, and is now being implemented by Medicare. While kidney care advocates applauded this development, it’s important to understand that the context for the bill has changed in light of passage of the Affordable Care [...]

Reminder – 24 Hours Left to Apply!

2024-03-29T01:09:18+00:00March 30th, 2023|Categories: Article, Get Involved, Policy Issues, Take Action|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) will host our Annual Congressional Advocacy Day on October 23, 2023. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their applications, legislative priorities, and previous involvement in DPC's advocacy efforts. We will hold a training session ahead of our congressional meeting for those participating, both virtually and in-person, to explain the process and review our current legislative “asks.” The application period is open until March 31, 2023. We just ask that you tell us a little about yourself and why you think you would be a good candidate for this incredible opportunity. We will make a [...]

DPC State Advocacy – March 2023 Update

2024-03-29T01:09:18+00:00March 27th, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Get Involved, Medigap Coverage, Patient Ambassadors, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

It has been a busy and productive legislative session for DPC’s state advocacy efforts. Bills impacting dialysis patients have been introduced in multiple state legislatures and in most cases have moved quickly through the legislative process. Improving access to Medigap coverage is a top priority for DPC, and we are thrilled that several states are working to improve Medigap access. Just last week, DPC celebrated Governor Glenn Youngkin's (R) signing of Virginia bills SB 1409 and HB 1640 into law, guaranteeing access to affordable Medigap coverage for thousands of Virginians under 65 living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In Kentucky, Medigap [...]

HHS Announces Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Modernization Initiative

2024-03-29T01:09:19+00:00March 22nd, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Treatment Options|

In March, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a Modernization Initiative to strengthen accountability and transparency in the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The initiative includes posting of data dashboards detailing individual transplant center and organ procurement organization performance; improvement of the OPTN IT system; and competitive bidding to manage the OPTN. “Every day, patients and families across the United States rely on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to save the lives of their loved ones who experience organ failure,” said Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator. [...]

National Kidney Month Reminds Us of the Possibilities of Life on Dialysis

2024-03-29T01:09:19+00:00February 21st, 2023|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Policy Issues, Spotlight, Treatment Options|

The coming March marks the start of National Kidney Month, a time to promote kidney health, raise awareness of the obstacles facing patients, and advocate for policies that help them as they navigate life with kidney disease. However, National Kidney Month also means so much more. It is an opportunity to spread awareness of the fact that being on dialysis doesn’t mean having to put your life on hold. You can still pursue a career and do the things you love most, whether that’s traveling, camping, or spending time with family and friends. At Dialysis Patient Citizens, we are extremely [...]

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