In January, DPC kicked off a year-long 20th Anniversary celebration by recognizing one of our outstanding patient advocates, and thanked dialysis facility staff who go above “the extra mile” to provide exceptional care, even in the face of recent staffing shortages. Gene Blankenship was the recipient of DPC’s inaugural Patient Advocacy Champion Award for his work in advocating for dialysis patients with his elected officials. DPC also awarded its inaugural Dialysis Dynamo awards to Amanda Byrd, AA/CCHT, Alicia Caldwell, RN, CDN, Sean Scearce, PA, and Marcy Stites, RN, for their hard work providing 5-star quality care for an underserved, rural community [...]
Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) will host our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Congressional Advocacy Day May 6-7, 2024. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their applications, legislative priorities, and previous involvement in DPC's advocacy efforts. We will hold a training session ahead of our congressional meeting for those participating to explain the process and review our current legislative “asks.” The application period is open until January 26, 2024. We just ask that you tell us a little about yourself and why you think you would be a good candidate for this incredible opportunity. We will make a decision [...]
On October 27, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule updating payment rates and policies under the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system. This rule fails to address two serious problems currently facing dialysis patients, which DPC raised in its comment letter: workforce shortages and lack of access to innovative treatments. DPC’s statement on the Rule is available here.
Dialysis Patient Citizens Responds to Disappointing Final CMS Rule That Will Harm Patient Healthcare
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 30, 2023) - Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC), the nation’s largest patient-led, non-profit advocacy group for dialysis patients, released the following statement in response to the final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which only increases Medicare reimbursements for dialysis treatment centers by 1.6% and fails to properly fund access to new therapies. “The End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) final rule released on Friday paints a chilling picture of an agency that is completely indifferent to the suffering of dialysis patients,” said DPC President Andrew Conkling. “The regulation acknowledges the heartbreaking stories from [...]
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 [...]
A commentary about workforce shortage issues authored by DPC Vice President of Public Policy Jackson Williams amplifies findings from this summer’s DPC member survey to explain how ESRD patients have been impacted. The article also discusses how Medicare policies must adapt for an era with fewer working-age Americans and more retirees. The article is available on AJMC’s website: https://www.ajmc.com/view/contributor-medicare-s-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce, as well as on DPC’s website: https://www.dialysispatients.org/news/medicares-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce/.
Written by Jackson Williams, JD, DPC Vice President of Public Policy Medicare’s administered pricing system has never had to deal with labor scarcity before. Fifteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine issued its report, “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce,” that warned of looming health workforce shortages due to demographic changes. The era foreseen by that report has likely arrived. Labor shortages are beginning to impact patient care. Media reports indicate numerous instances of hospitals declaring “contingency standards of care” or ordering ambulance diversions due to staffing shortages. I’m an advocate for patients who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), who [...]
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 [...]
DPC’s letter commenting on this year’s ESRD Payment Rule warns that Medicare is not addressing workforce shortages that are impacting patient care. The letter reports the following findings from our recent member survey: 62% of patients reported that the recent labor shortages had impacted their care: 43% said that staff turnover disrupted their care; 28% reported delays to their treatment; and 7% reported that they had to change shifts or facilities. In 2013, in response to a question about wait times at facilities, the same proportion of patients, 14%, reported increases in wait times as decreases in wait times. This year, [...]
DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P)
August 18, 2023 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244 Re: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently about 35,000, 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 [...]