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DPC Recognizes Patients and Dialysis Staff as Part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration

2024-02-21T20:52:15+00:00February 14th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Promote Financial Security|

In January, DPC kicked off a year-long 20th Anniversary celebration by recognizing one of our outstanding patient advocates, and thanked dialysis facility staff who go above “the extra mile” to provide exceptional care, even in the face of recent staffing shortages. Gene Blankenship was the recipient of DPC’s inaugural Patient Advocacy Champion Award for his work in advocating for dialysis patients with his elected officials. DPC also awarded its inaugural Dialysis Dynamo awards to Amanda Byrd, AA/CCHT, Alicia Caldwell, RN, CDN, Sean Scearce, PA, and Marcy Stites, RN, for their hard work providing 5-star quality care for an underserved, rural community [...]

2024 Advocacy Day – 24 Hours Left to Apply!

2024-01-25T16:27:44+00:00January 25th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, Take Action|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) will host our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Congressional Advocacy Day May 6-7, 2024. 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 to explain the process and review our current legislative “asks.” The application period is open until January 26, 2024. 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 decision [...]

Happy Thanksgiving from DPC Board, Staff, and Volunteers!

2023-11-21T16:47:23+00:00November 21st, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medigap Coverage, News, Private Insurance Coverage|

DPC would like to wish our many patient advocates, family, friends, and healthcare partners a happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for all of these hard-working individuals and for their dedication to the kidney community, as well as their effort to help elevate the patient voice. This year, our patient advocates helped to secure passage of critical legislation at the federal level to help modernize the transplant system. We also worked hard to educate hundreds of policy makers about the importance of protecting dialysis patient access to private insurance coverage, as well as the need to provide access to Medicare secondary [...]

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 [...]

Medicare Must Increase Access to Improvements in Dialysis Care

2024-01-08T21:14:23+00:00October 6th, 2023|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Innovation, Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Treatment Options|

For people who live with a chronic illness, one of the most powerful words in the English language is hope. As a more than 20-year dialysis patient with end-stage renal disease, otherwise known as kidney failure, hope is a driving force in my life. My condition may never be cured, but new treatments are under development that could ease my symptoms. Every day, I hold out hope that a new, revolutionary treatment is around the corner that could help me and thousands like me live a more comfortable life. Unfortunately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is becoming a [...]

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

2023-09-28T15:43:28+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 [...]

Medicare Policy Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Those on Dialysis

2023-09-18T16:52:48+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 [...]

Lawmakers Come Together to Help Transplant Patients

2023-06-18T19:30:14+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 [...]

House Introduction of the Living Donor Protection Act

2023-05-25T15:00:59+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

2023-04-24T19:46:23+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 [...]

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