Medicare Removes Important Protection for Dialysis Patients in Managed Care Plans

2020-05-26T18:43:33+00:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a regulation for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that eliminates time and distance limits from network adequacy requirements for dialysis facilities. Network adequacy requirements for health plans ensure that patients can have access to all necessary providers with reasonable promptness. Time and distance limits prescribe a maximum driving time or distance in miles that a consumer must travel to get to a doctor or facility. The limits are higher in rural areas. CMS replaced the time and distance limits with another standard, a network “consistent with the prevailing community pattern [...]

Another Dialysis Ballot Initiative Looming in California

2020-04-28T15:24:39+00:00April 28th, 2020|Categories: Article, News, Policy Issues, Treatment Options|

Last week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and United Health Workers West (UHW) submitted petition signatures for a potential ballot initiative in November. If the signatures are approved, California voters will vote on measure to dramatically increase the cost of dialysis care. The same group backed a similar measure (Proposition 8) two years ago, which voters widely rejected. DPC opposes the current ballot initiative because it adds burdensome requirements intended to drive up the cost of care for dialysis patients. One provision, in particular, would require a nephrologist to be present at all times at the dialysis facility whenever patients [...]

DPC Supports Increased Access and Quality of Care for Dialysis Patients Amid COVID-19

2020-04-02T14:09:49+00:00March 23rd, 2020|Categories: Care Coordination, Comment Letter, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

DPC provided feedback to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the COVID-19-related issues that the kidney community is facing. DPC made recommendations to HHS in the following areas: Transportation COVID-19 Treatments and Vaccinations Home Dialysis People with End-Stage Renal Disease have a higher risk for developing a severe illness from COVID-19. As a result, it is crucial we do all that we can to help this vulnerable population in order to decrease the negative impact and spread of the virus. Read DPC's letter to HHS below for more details: Kumiko Lippold, PhD, MPH Department of Health [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding Medicare Advantage

2020-03-31T19:36:28+00:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Care Coordination, Comment Letter, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

In 2021 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients will be permitted to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, potentially bringing major changes to ESRD care and how patients experience it. When open enrollment begins this fall, we want to make sure patients have access to the same robust benefits offered with MA plans right now. DPC reached out to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with recommendations on how to ensure ESRD patients maintain the access, choice and quality care they expect when these benefits are available to everyone. Currently, the only ESRD patients with MA plans are those [...]

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 [...]

Congressman Payne Jr. Comments on CMS Proposed Rule Regarding ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration

2020-03-21T20:40:49+00:00November 20th, 2019|Categories: Treatment Options|

Congressman Donald Payne Jr. sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the ESRD Treatment Choices Model Demonstration, which is the rule that pertains to increasing the number of home dialysis treatments and kidney transplants. Payne focused on the importance of protecting and prioritizing patient choice. Specifically, he explained that home dialysis is not always an optimal treatment option for patients due to a lack of caregiver support and the necessary space requirements needed for this treatment. Payne provides a unique perspective to the conversation on advancing kidney health in America. He has End-Stage Renal Disease [...]

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

2020-03-21T20:41:19+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

2020-03-21T20:41:19+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

2020-03-21T20:41:19+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

2020-03-21T20:41:19+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 [...]