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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 [...]

Don’t Forget to Apply for DPC’s 2022 Advocacy Day!

2022-02-22T21:05:56+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, Take Action|

DPC is pleased to invite you to apply for our 2022 Advocacy Day. Please apply by February 25th. Each year, Dialysis Patient Citizens is excited to host a Congressional Advocacy Day for kidney patients and transplant recipients to meet with their federal legislators and talk about issues that affect their quality of care. Historically, our members have come to Washington, D.C., to meet with their Congressional Members in person. However, we are conducting a virtual "fly-in" in 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure the safety of our participants. We will be hosting our Congressional Advocacy Day [...]

2022’s State Advocacy Kick-Off

2022-02-22T21:13:22+00:00February 17th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

It’s been a busy start in 2022 for DPC’s state advocacy efforts. While many states are holding shorter legislative sessions due to the upcoming primary elections, bills impacting dialysis patients are being introduced and moving quickly through the legislative process. Legislation to expanded Medigap access has already been introduced in Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Improving access to Medicare supplementary (Medigap) plans is a top policy priority for DPC, and we are pleased that multiple states are considering how they can help, particularly in states that have limited or no access to Medigap for the under [...]

Medicare Kicks Off New Kidney Care Demonstration Project

2022-02-22T21:10:20+00:00February 1st, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage, News, Promote Financial Security, Treatment Options|

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced 85 sites for its Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Demonstration Project, which started January 1, 2022. The program, initially announced by President Donald Trump in July 2019, is intended to “help health care providers reduce the cost and improve the quality of care for patients with late-stage chronic kidney disease and ESRD… and to delay the need for dialysis and encourage kidney transplantation.” KCC consists of two separate programs. In Kidney Care First (KCF), participating nephrology practices receive payments on a per-patient basis for managing the care of patients with late-stage chronic kidney [...]

DPC Responds to Medicare Officials’ Request for Information on Transplants and Home Modalities

2022-01-31T16:23:04+00:00January 31st, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are preparing new initiatives to promote transplant and home dialysis, and asked the public for recommendations. The request came as part of the President’s Executive Orders “to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for people in need of a life-saving transplant and dialysis,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. DPC responded to several elements of the request. Equity in Organ Transplantation – DPC reiterated its position, shared by many experts, that Medicare should supplement payments on behalf of disadvantaged patients so providers can give them extra assistance in seeking transplants. [...]

DPC Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case

2022-08-04T18:46:58+00:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Legal Defense, Medicare Advantage, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

DPC filed a “friend of the court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Marietta Memorial Hospital v. DaVita. The case involves a dialysis patient whose employer-sponsored health insurance plan tied reimbursements for dialysis to Medicare prices. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that this constituted illegal discrimination. The employer appealed the decision, which is now scheduled for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 1. DPC’s brief argues that such discrimination circumvents dialysis patients’ right to keep their employer coverage for up to 30 months before Medicare becomes their private insurance. DPC emphasized the three [...]

Reminder – Free COVID-19 Tests Available

2022-01-28T15:08:46+00:00January 17th, 2022|Categories: Article|Tags: |

In case you weren’t already aware, the federal government is issuing four free at-home Covid-19 tests to every household in the U.S. These are rapid antigen Covid-19 home tests that you self-administer using a nasal swab and get results in less than 30 minutes. Orders will be shipped directly to your home via US Postal Service (USPS), usually within seven to twelve days, beginning the week of January 24th. To order online, visit: https://www.covidtests.gov/. Click on “Order Free At-home Tests” button and it will redirect you to the USPS site for you to fill out your name and address. Or, if [...]

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