RE: CMS-1631-P: Physician Fee Schedule

2024-03-29T01:50:32+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

2024-03-29T02:08:06+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 A large cut that had been scheduled to take effect in 2016 has been replaced by smaller, fixed-amount cuts that afford providers more certainty about revenues in coming years.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

2024-03-29T02:08:06+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!

2024-03-29T02:08:07+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?

2024-03-29T02:08:07+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?

2024-03-29T02:08:08+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 [...]

Dialysis Advocates Praise Introduction of Kidney Transplant Drug Access Legislation

2024-03-29T02:08:59+00:00March 28th, 2013|Categories: Access to Transplant, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Press Release|

Urge Support for the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2013 (Washington, DC) – In honor of National Kidney Month, dialysis patient advocates praised the introduction of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2013 (S.323/H.R. 1325). This vital legislation will extend anti-rejection drug coverage for kidney transplant patients under the age of 65 beyond the current three year period. The bill would ensure transplant patients receive the necessary medications to maximize the life of the donated organ while using our limited federal resources more efficiently. “While receiving a kidney transplant is a [...]

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