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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 [...]

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 [...]

HHS Announces Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Modernization Initiative

2023-03-29T16:40:11+00:00March 22nd, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Treatment Options|

In March, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a Modernization Initiative to strengthen accountability and transparency in the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The initiative includes posting of data dashboards detailing individual transplant center and organ procurement organization performance; improvement of the OPTN IT system; and competitive bidding to manage the OPTN. “Every day, patients and families across the United States rely on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to save the lives of their loved ones who experience organ failure,” said Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator. [...]

National Kidney Month Reminds Us of the Possibilities of Life on Dialysis

2023-03-29T16:45:07+00:00February 21st, 2023|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Policy Issues, Spotlight, Treatment Options|

The coming March marks the start of National Kidney Month, a time to promote kidney health, raise awareness of the obstacles facing patients, and advocate for policies that help them as they navigate life with kidney disease. However, National Kidney Month also means so much more. It is an opportunity to spread awareness of the fact that being on dialysis doesn’t mean having to put your life on hold. You can still pursue a career and do the things you love most, whether that’s traveling, camping, or spending time with family and friends. At Dialysis Patient Citizens, we are extremely [...]

DPC Continues Outreach to Protect Patients’ Rights

2022-09-20T17:33:33+00:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care, Take Action, Treatment Options|

DPC Members and Patient Ambassadors continue advocacy on H.R. 8594/S. 4750 - The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, which would codify into law the right for dialysis patients to stay on their private insurance for up to 30 months, if they should so choose. This bill not only preserves patient choice but also encourages insurers to detect and treat kidney disease early and, most importantly, protects kidney disease patients from discrimination. This legislation reinstates the importance of allowing kidney patients to decide which health insurance will best serve them. For more information, to watch patient testimonials, or to take action, [...]

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. [...]

2021 Annual Survey Last Call!

2021-08-26T11:49:25+00:00August 26th, 2021|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program, Take Action, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

24 hours remain to complete our survey. Make sure to complete your survey for a chance at one of 10 remaining $100 gift certificates. Our 2021 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 27. Your feedback helps to shape our public policy agenda and patient education priorities for the next year. This year we ask that both patients and caregivers take our survey. Rest assured your responses will remain completely anonymous. We only share the overall survey results with state and federal level policy makers, so they will better understand your needs, experiences, and preferences. [...]

CMS Announces Penalties and Rewards for Promoting Home Dialysis and Transplants

2020-09-22T14:49:34+00:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Dialysis Funding, Transplant Donor Protection, Treatment Options|

On September 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. The ETC Model was a cornerstone of President Trump’s Advancing Kidney Health Executive Order in 2019. It encourages an increased use of home dialysis and kidney transplants in approximately 30 percent of dialysis facilities and nephrology practices and will be implemented on January 1, 2021. CMS estimated reduced expenditures of $23 million over five and a half years, anticipating that providers assigned to the program will be penalized for not meeting standards. DPC and many other kidney groups opposed this [...]

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