Action Alert – Secure Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

2024-03-29T01:13:32+00:00January 12th, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Take Action|

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019 (H.R. 5534) was recently introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX). This legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressant drugs beyond the current limit of 36 months for patients who are unable to obtain health insurance coverage elsewhere. Immunosuppressive medications play a critical role in preventing transplant recipients from rejecting a donor kidney. Right now, after dialysis patients receive a transplant, if they are under the age of 65, they are only eligible to remain on Medicare for an additional 36 months. After this three-year [...]

Happy Holidays and DPC’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2019

2024-03-29T01:13:32+00:00December 20th, 2019|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, About DPC, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Quality Incentive Program, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|

Dialysis Patient Citizens wants to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday, as well as a safe and healthy New Year. Our offices will be closed for the holidays starting December 23 through January 1. We also want to take this opportunity to share our list of Top 10 Accomplishments for 2019, which would not have been possible without your support. Thank you again for helping us elevate the dialysis patient voice with policy makers. We are extremely grateful for all of your advocacy efforts, and we look forward to our continued collaboration in 2020 as we work together to improve dialysis [...]

Congress Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration

2024-03-29T01:13:33+00:00October 18th, 2019|Categories: Access to Transplant, Care Coordination, Comment Letter, News, Treatment Options|

This month Members of Congress reached out to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the ETC Model, which is the same rule DPC commented on last month that pertains to increasing the number of home dialysis treatments and kidney transplants. In the letter, lawmakers raised concerns that parallel many of the priorities DPC advocates for in order to improve dialysis patient care. Specifically, the letter addressed: Improving access to care and treatment options Promoting patient choice Advancing care coordination Increasing access to transplant With over 70 signatures from legislators supporting the letter, we are pleased to see that [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Improve Dialysis Patient Quality of Life

2024-03-29T01:13:33+00:00October 11th, 2019|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Charitable Premium Assistance, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program, Treatment Options|

Each year—typically during the summer—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) puts out rules for how they are going to pay for dialysis treatment. The rules reflect CMS' latest policies, and organizations have the opportunity to provide feedback about the rules before they go into effect on January 1. DPC provided feedback to CMS regarding their end-stage renal disease (ESRD) Annual Payment rule. DPC's letter addresses the following important topics for improving ESRD patient care: Transitional Add-On Payment Adjustment for New and Innovative Equipment and Supplies Anemia Management Social Risk Factors and their Impact on the QIP The Need [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration

2024-03-29T01:13:34+00:00September 4th, 2019|Categories: Access to Transplant, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Transplant Donor Protection, Treatment Options|

In response to the Administration's announcement to improve kidney health in America, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a rule to implement a mandatory Medicare payment model designed to increase the number of home dialysis treatments and kidney transplants, all while reducing Medicare expenditures. The rule—referred to as the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices Model (ETC Model)—would measure clinician and facility performance, as well as the rate of home dialysis and kidney transplants in selected geographic regions. These calculations would result in either an increase or decrease of Medicare funding to a particular facility or clinician, [...]

The Administration’s Plan to Improve Quality of Life and Patient Choice for Dialysis Patients

2024-03-29T01:13:34+00:00July 11th, 2019|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Improve Access to Care, Transplant Donor Protection, Treatment Options|

President Donald J. Trump thanks DPC Board Member Nancy Scott prior to signing an Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) "I did dialysis. I did not let it do me." Those powerful words were shared by DPC Board Member Nancy Scott shortly before President Trump signed an Executive Order centered around improving kidney health in America on July 10, 2019. Scott was one of only three individuals who the Administration asked to share her [...]

Medicare Adds Transplant Measure to ESRD Quality Improvement Program

2024-03-29T01:13:37+00:00November 18th, 2018|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Quality Incentive Program|

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final annual rule updating payment policies for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System and the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP). Among new quality measures to take effect beginning in 2022 is Percentage of Prevalent Patients Placed on a Transplant Waiting List (PPPW). This measure was already scheduled to be reported for individual clinics, beginning next year, on CMS’ Dialysis Facility Compare website. Adding it to the QIP means that facilities can be penalized if the percentage of their patients waitlisted for transplant is below [...]

DPC Supports Improved Access to Private Insurance for Patients

2024-03-29T01:13:38+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Private Insurance Coverage|Tags: |

Currently, dialysis patients are restricted to 30 months on private insurance coverage before having to go into Medicare. The House of Representatives recently proposed extending this length of time by three months, which is estimated to save Medicare $344 million. Access to private insurance is critical for dialysis patients, and we are very appreciative of the House’s efforts to improve that access. Read our letter below in support of this proposal: Dear Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Chairman Hatch, and Ranking Member Wyden: As America’s largest patient-led kidney disease organization representing over 30,000 dialysis patients and family members, Dialysis Patient [...]

Researchers and Journalists Call Out Poorly Performing Organ Procurement Organizations

2024-03-29T01:13:39+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article|

Recent research and journalism has highlighted significant variations in the ability of regional Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) to obtain donor organs for transplants. An analysis by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania rated 35 of 58 OPOs, and identified the best performers among them the OPOs serving Utah and Southern Idaho; Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware; the Finger Lakes region of New York; Wisconsin; and Nebraska. The poorest performing were those serving the New York City region; Southern California; Kentucky; and North Carolina. The New York City OPO’s poor performance was highlighted in a New York Times article last week. [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Wins Court Ruling Against Insurer Veto on ESRD Patients

2024-03-29T01:13:40+00:00February 16th, 2017|Categories: Access to Transplant, Charitable Premium Assistance, Improve Access to Care, Legal Defense, Medigap Coverage, Treatment Options|

In a lawsuit filed by DPC against the Department of Health and Human Services, a federal court has blocked a regulation that would have given insurers veto power over ESRD patients’ access to private coverage. The judge called the regulation, that could have forced dialysis patients off their current health insurance and jeopardized their access to care, “arbitrary and capricious.” In enjoining the regulation’s enforcement, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas held that the rule was 1) procedurally defective because HHS adopted it without first giving the public notice of it and seeking comment on it, [...]

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