Action Alert – Secure Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

2020-03-21T20:40:48+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 patients bodies from rejecting a new donor kidney. Right now, Medicare only covers immunosuppressive drugs for 36 months after a patient receives a kidney transplant. After this three-year period, many transplant patients are unable to find affordable health [...]

Happy Holidays and DPC’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2019

2020-03-21T20:40:48+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 [...]

RE: CMS-1631-P: Physician Fee Schedule

2020-03-21T20:45:20+00:00August 25th, 2015|Categories: Comment Letter, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage|

August 25, 2015 Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, D.C. 20201 Dear Mr. Slavitt, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) appreciates the opportunity to provide the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with comments on the proposed payment rule for the Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program. As America’s largest patient-led organization representing dialysis patients, DPC’s membership consists of more than 28,000 dialysis and pre-dialysis patients and their families. We seek to ensure the patient point of view is considered by [...]

Dialysis Reimbursements Stabilized by Protecting Access to Medicare Act

2020-03-21T20:46:57+00:00April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage|

This week President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, which contained some provisions favorable to dialysis patients. The primary purpose of the legislation was to stabilize Medicare payments to physicians, but Congress also used the opportunity to stabilize reimbursements to dialysis facilities. A large cut that had been scheduled to take effect in 2016 has been replaced by smaller, fixed-amount cuts that afford providers more certainty about revenues in coming years. This new payment formula will encourage providers to renew expiring leases on dialysis facilities and continue to invest in improved kidney care infrastructure. Another provision further delays addition [...]

DPC Urges Medicare Agency to Withdraw Proposal That Could Weaken Protections for Transplant Patients

2020-03-21T20:46:58+00:00March 6th, 2014|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Comment Letter, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Improve Access to Care|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) weighed in against a Medicare proposal that would complicate some transplant patients’ access to immunosuppressive drugs. Medicare Part D, like other private health plans, uses drug formularies to keep down costs. Formularies favor certain drugs over others in exchange for discounts. Patients are encouraged to ask their doctors to first prescribe medications on the formulary to take advantage of lower co-pays. Often a patient’s condition can be addressed by a drug on the formulary, but many transplant patients find that “first-line” immunosuppressive treatments aren’t effective or have serious side-effects. For this reason, DPC told CMS: “Immunosuppressive [...]

We Need to Hear From You!

2020-03-21T20:46:58+00:00February 7th, 2014|Categories: Article, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Increase Quality of Care, Treatment Options|

DPC is currently working on two initiatives that require your input! First, the National Quality Forum is conducting a study of "Person-Centered Care" and is looking for patient input. DPC has volunteered to collect patient viewpoints on this subject, and we are inviting our members and other dialysis patients to share your experience with and insights into the care you've received. The National Quality Forum is an organization that endorses the standardized healthcare performance measures that are used by Medicare and other insurers to monitor quality. Its goal in this project is to figure out how to assess whether care is person-centered, which may [...]

Giving Tuesday: What Can We as Dialysis Patients Give?

2020-03-21T20:46:58+00:00December 6th, 2013|Categories: Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Patient's Voice, What is Kidney Disease?|Tags: |

By James Myers, DPC Patient Ambassador On the website for the Polycystic Kidney Foundation, there is an announcement about Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013. It says you can give one of three ways: your voice, your time or your dollars. As a dialysis patient, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any money. But two things that I have a lot of are voice and time, and I am more than happy to lend those to the cause of defeating PKD. I can honestly say that having an invisible fatal illness has colored every decision that I have [...]

Has the ACA Expanded Medicare’s Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Recipients?

2020-03-21T20:46:59+00:00November 18th, 2013|Categories: Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Patient's Voice|

By Jim Myers, DPC Patient Ambassador. I had a conversation with my doctor last week. (My nephrologist, Dr. Vavilala, we call him Dr. V). He asked me if I had heard anything during my last trip to Washington, D.C. about an extension of coverage through the ACA to kidney transplant patients of the immunosuppressive drug coverage beyond the 36 month period that currently exists. This rang a bell in the back of my brain, so I decided to check it out. Every transplant patient or transplant candidate knows the current status of the law. If you are a kidney transplant [...]

Congressional Corner: Two Transplant Bills Introduced in Congress

2020-03-21T20:47:21+00:00March 22nd, 2013|Categories: Access to Transplant, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Improve Access to Care|Tags: |

By Carrie L., Director of Congressional and State Relations Recently, two bills relating to kidney and organ transplants have been introduced in Congress. Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi introduced the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2013 (S. 323) in the Senate, and Congressman Michael Burgess and Congressman Ron Kind introduced a companion bill (H.R. 1325) in the House. If passed, these bills will extend Medicare immunosuppressive drug coverage for kidney transplant patients under 65 years old for the life of the graft. Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries who are [...]

Congressional Corner: Over the Cliff – Then Quickly Back Up Again

2020-03-21T20:47:40+00:00January 3rd, 2013|Categories: Blog, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Transportation Services|

By Carrie L., Director of Congressional and State Relations Well, we went over the fiscal cliff. And then, just hours later a deal was struck, a few hours late but a deal to bring us back from the brink nonetheless. The 112th Congress concluded its tumultuous, and gridlocked 2 years by passing a deal to avoid massive tax hikes for the middle class and a 27% decrease in payments to Medicare providers on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, cuts to the Medicare ESRD program were still included in the fiscal cliff package. The deal calls on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid [...]