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DPC Letter to CMMI on ESRD Treatment Choices Demonstration Issues

2023-10-10T20:46:30+00:00October 10th, 2023|Categories: Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Treatment Options|

October 10, 2023 Dr. Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re: ESRD Treatment Choices Demonstration Issues Dear Dr. Fowler: Last year, published research looking at CMMI’s ESRD Treatment Choices Model (ETC) indicated that the program is not having the effect that was hypothesized. Now, CMMI’s own evaluation contractor has echoed those findings. We urge CMMI to pause and reassess whether ETC was the best available policy intervention to promote home dialysis and transplantation, and consider alternatives. ETC imposes a bonus-and-penalty payment adjustment in randomly selected intervention regions to incentivize kidney providers [...]

DPC Raises Alarm on Health Workforce Shortages

2023-08-28T17:39:40+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’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P)

2023-09-14T16:35:23+00:00August 18th, 2023|Categories: Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care, Staffing Shortages|

August 18, 2023 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:       End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently about 35,000, is restricted to kidney disease patients and their family members. DPC is a patient-led organization.  Our by-laws require that the President, Vice President and at least 51% of the Board be current dialysis patients.  The non-dialysis patients serving on our Board [...]

DPC Responds to Medicare’s Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-20T17:37:03+00:00August 26th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC submitted a comment letter applauding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its announcement that it will cover dental work for kidney transplant candidates when oral health issues are a barrier to transplant surgery. “This proposal is an important recognition and clarification of CMS’s existing authority, which will help to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access and afford more of the dental care they need to advance their health,” DPC said. CMS also asked whether there are “types of surgery, or clinical scenarios involving acute or chronic conditions that would have an improved patient outcome if certain dental [...]

DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-15T17:41:44+00:00August 25th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

August 25, 2022 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re: CMS-1770-P (Section II.L.) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently over 30,000, is restricted to kidney disease patients and their family members. DPC is a patient-led organization.  Our by-laws require that the President, Vice President and at least 51% of the Board be current dialysis patients.  The non-dialysis patients serving on our Board are former dialysis patients with kidney transplants. Our volunteer board members have represented [...]

DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS

2022-08-24T17:15:36+00:00August 18th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Medicare Advantage, News, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program, Uncategorized|

August 18, 2022 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:       End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2023 Proposed Rule (CMS-1768-P) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently over 30,000, is restricted to kidney disease patients and their family members. DPC is a patient-led organization.  Our by-laws require that the President, Vice President and at least 51% of the Board be current dialysis patients.  The non-dialysis patients serving on our Board [...]

DPC Submits Comments on Medicare’s 2022 ESRD Payment Rule

2022-08-24T17:15:15+00:00August 18th, 2022|Categories: Article, Comment Letter, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program|

DPC’s comment letter on Medicare’s 2022 ESRD Payment Rule highlighted the impact that labor shortages may have on dialysis patients. “Currently, there are nearly two job openings for every available unemployed worker. Vulnerable patients need a labor market in which there is a one-to-one ratio of health care workers for vacancies in essential jobs. Over the long term, the government may need to act to foster interest among young people in healthcare careers and facilitate their preparation for such roles. But in the immediate term, it is necessary to ensure that wages for jobs like dialysis technicians are competitive.” DPC is [...]

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 [...]

DPC Urges Medicare to Add Resources for Health Equity

2021-08-26T12:12:42+00:00August 19th, 2021|Categories: Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

DPC has filed its letter commenting on this year’s Medicare ESRD Proposed Rule, which governs payments to dialysis facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) heralded this year’s payment rules as undertaking new initiatives to reduce health disparities. DPC’s letter critiques these initiatives as insufficient and endorses alternative approaches. CMS is proposing to collect new data on racial disparities, and to stratify quality measures so that facilities serving disadvantaged patients no longer receive QIP payment reductions simply because patients are poor. DPC endorses these moves, but points to recent calls by experts to address disparities by supplementing payments to [...]

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