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DPC Responds to Medicare’s Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-20T17:37:03+00:00August 26th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC submitted a comment letter applauding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its announcement that it will cover dental work for kidney transplant candidates when oral health issues are a barrier to transplant surgery. “This proposal is an important recognition and clarification of CMS’s existing authority, which will help to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access and afford more of the dental care they need to advance their health,” DPC said. CMS also asked whether there are “types of surgery, or clinical scenarios involving acute or chronic conditions that would have an improved patient outcome if certain dental [...]

DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-15T17:41:44+00:00August 25th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

August 25, 2022 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re: CMS-1770-P (Section II.L.) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently over 30,000, is restricted to kidney disease patients and their family members. DPC is a patient-led organization.  Our by-laws require that the President, Vice President and at least 51% of the Board be current dialysis patients.  The non-dialysis patients serving on our Board are former dialysis patients with kidney transplants. Our volunteer board members have represented [...]

Medicare Dental Coverage for Transplant Candidates May be on the Way

2022-07-26T19:41:29+00:00July 5th, 2022|Categories: Article, Dental Coverage, Medicare Advantage|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing expanded coverage of “medically necessary” dental treatment, including treatments necessary to qualify for an organ transplant. DPC and other consumer advocates have been pressing for this change for several years. Medicare currently pays for dental services in a limited number of circumstances, such as when that service is an integral part of specific treatment of a beneficiary’s primary medical condition. Some examples include reconstruction of the jaw following accidental injury, tooth extractions done in preparations for radiation treatment for cancer involving the jaw, or oral exams preceding kidney transplantation. CMS is [...]

Rhode Island Passes Medigap Access Legislation

2022-06-27T15:42:50+00:00June 24th, 2022|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage|

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the Rhode Island General Assembly held the final vote leading to passage of two bills granting access to Medigap coverage for dialysis patients under age 65. Sponsored by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-District 38), Speaker Pro Tempore, and Senator Dennis L. Algiere (R-District 38), Senate Minority Leader, H 7244 and S 2194 require that Medicare supplement policies be made available to any applicant under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to a disability or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The legislative language in these bills (which is identical) specifies that Medicare Supplement Plan A be made [...]

What Patients Should Know About Value-Based Care

2022-05-24T19:27:54+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC is a strong advocate of Value-Based Care. Value-Based Care means that your primary providers accept a single payment or budgeted amount to cover all your medical needs. For instance, if you are in a program like Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (or CKCC, formerly known as the ESCO program) your dialysis provider and nephrologist take responsibility for all your care—not just kidney care but other conditions, such as diabetes, and other sites of care, such as hospitals. There are currently three types of value-based care programs that kidney patients may be in: Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) – you are [...]

DPC Hosts Successful 2022 Congressional Advocacy Day

2022-05-24T18:57:59+00:00May 13th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Promote Financial Security|

On Thursday, May 12th, DPC hosted its’ annual Advocacy Day when we connect patients, family members, and Partners in Care with their Members of Congress so they can tell their story with dialysis and advocate for legislative priorities that would help them. Once again, out of an abundance of caution, our advocacy day was virtual, but we were still able to have wonderful participation. This year we had 113 participants who participated in 113 meetings and represented 29 states. They talked with their Congressional offices about The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act which would give all ESRD patients access to [...]

DPC Urges Medicare Officials to Take Action on Dialysis Workforce Shortages

2022-03-22T13:00:50+00:00March 7th, 2022|Categories: Article, Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC has written to top Medicare officials asking that they develop policy options to address the current labor shortage. The letter notes that the lengthy rulemaking process used to update payments to healthcare providers is ill-suited to react to urgent changes in the labor market. Fourteen years ago, the prestigious Institute of Medicine warned that as Americans aged, there would be fewer workers to take care of more elderly and disabled individuals. DPC’s letter urges officials to take another look at the report, which recommended “wage pass through” components of provider payments to address rising wages and delegating more responsibilities to [...]

Don’t Forget to Apply for DPC’s 2022 Advocacy Day!

2022-02-22T21:05:56+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, Take Action|

DPC is pleased to invite you to apply for our 2022 Advocacy Day. Please apply by February 25th. Each year, Dialysis Patient Citizens is excited to host a Congressional Advocacy Day for kidney patients and transplant recipients to meet with their federal legislators and talk about issues that affect their quality of care. Historically, our members have come to Washington, D.C., to meet with their Congressional Members in person. However, we are conducting a virtual "fly-in" in 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure the safety of our participants. We will be hosting our Congressional Advocacy Day [...]

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. [...]

DPC Advocates Take Congress by Web Storm

2021-09-30T16:44:14+00:00September 21st, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy|

DPC held its annual Congressional Advocacy Day on September 21st, which was another great success! More than a hundred and fifty DPC Patient Ambassadors, Board members, staff and dialysis partners participated in nearly 200 Congressional meetings throughout the day to lobby on two important federal bills that would provide greater financial security and improve the quality of life for dialysis patients: The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) would expand guaranteed issue rights to Medicare supplemental health insurance policies, known as Medigap, to all End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under age 65 in every state. Access to [...]

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