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Action Alert – Support Care Coordination for Dialysis Patients

2021-08-26T11:59:53+00:00August 16th, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Improve Access to Care, Take Action|

The BETTER Kidney Care Act (H.R. 4942/S. 2649) was reintroduced by Senators Young (R-IN) and Sinema (D-AZ), along with Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR), Butterfield (D-N), and Cardenas (D-CA). This bill would enhance access to care coordination services for thousands of patients across the United States currently living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It could also help with services not covered by Medicare such as dental care and transportation. Coordinated care is essential for improving the overall care and health of ESRD patients. Specifically, better care coordination could mean help for patients with: scheduling doctors’ appointments, reviewing their medication regime, dealing with dialysis [...]

Urge Congress to Support the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act!

2021-07-21T13:54:03+00:00July 6th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Take Action|

Expanding Medigap coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease patients of all ages is a critical step to eliminating financial barriers to care, especially when it comes to transplantation. Congresswomen Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03) recently introduced the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) in honor of DPC founding Board member and our longest-serving president Jack Reynolds. This important bill would guarantee access to Medigap coverage for patients under 65 who suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are already 19 bi-partisan co-sponsors who are working to ensure ESRD patients can obtain insurance coverage to pay for the [...]

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Payments for End-Stage Renal Disease

2021-07-21T13:48:02+00:00July 1st, 2021|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

On July 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) annual rulemaking. This proposed rule would update ESRD PPS payment rates, make changes to the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP), and modify the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model for 2022. The proposed changes to the ETC Model policies aim to encourage dialysis providers to decrease disparities in rates of home dialysis and kidney transplants among ESRD patients with lower socioeconomic status, making the model the agency’s first CMS Innovation Center project to address health equity. The ETC model rewards ESRD facilities and [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Statement Commemorating Juneteenth

2021-06-17T21:57:26+00:00June 17th, 2021|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 17, 2021) -- Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) today released the following statement recognizing Juneteenth and reaffirming its commitment to addressing healthcare disparities among kidney patients nationwide. “Today we commemorate Juneteenth, an important day in history that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Americans and allows us an opportunity for reflection on both our nation’s history and how much further we have to go,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “Black Americans continue to face systemic inequalities in our country, including healthcare disparities that disproportionately hurt patients from communities of color. Too many patients with kidney disease experience firsthand unacceptable racial [...]

Both Sides of the Aisle Agree – We Need to Help Kidney Patients

2021-06-23T12:15:21+00:00June 9th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

On June 8, 2021, Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), a bipartisan, bicameral bill designed to not only raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but also improve understanding and access to treatment for patients, which includes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more that 1 in 7 US adults (about 37 million people) have CKD and that as many as 9 out of 10 of those adults [...]

Opinion | Letter: Pass Kidney-care Bill

2021-06-03T16:31:14+00:00June 1st, 2021|Categories: Care Coordination, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Spotlight|

By Kristi Flynn of Grovetown, GA I have struggled with kidney disease my entire life. I was diagnosed when I was 7, then started dialysis at 25 before finally receiving a kidney transplant in 2018. Throughout all of this, the role of coordinating care has fallen completely on me, a task I find particularly difficult because I am legally blind. Even within my transplant center, doctors can’t always communicate, and even more frustrating, occasionally change each other’s plans without consulting each other. With a more streamlined approach to care coordination, a lot of these problems could be relieved. Thankfully, Congress is [...]

Letters: Action Needed to Help Alabama Dialysis Patients

2022-07-08T18:16:16+00:00May 1st, 2021|Categories: Care Coordination, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Spotlight|

By Cortney Beavers of Pell City, AL. One of the most difficult moments of my life was finding out that, despite being only 24 years old, my kidney was beginning to fail. After years of dialysis and a kidney transplant, I learned through my experiences in the health care system what needs to be improved. Doctors and nurses need a better care coordination framework to more effectively treat their patients. I had the benefit of working with terrific nurses and other providers who met my needs and communicated well between one another, but unfortunately that’s not the case for every [...]

New Year, New Administration Brings Changes to Medicare’s Kidney Demonstration Projects

2021-04-21T21:14:33+00:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program|

2021 was supposed to mark the beginning of three new Medicare programs to demonstrate innovations in kidney care, but a last-minute decision from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has suspended two of them. This action unfortunately leaves about 50,000 dialysis patients with a nine-month gap in extra assistance they were receiving from a successful program that expired March 31. Here is the rundown on the current landscape of Medicare demonstration projects that impact dialysis patients. Demonstration projects are used by Medicare to test new models of care and/or new models of paying providers within Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program. [...]

National Minority Health Month

2021-04-21T18:01:37+00:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care|Tags: |

April is also recognized as National Minority Health Month, in an effort to highlight and address the health disparities experienced in minority communities. This is especially prevalent among kidney and dialysis patients; Hispanic or Latino Americans 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure than white Americans, Black or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 1.2 times more likely, and Asian Americans are also at a higher risk. Additionally, the main risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) disproportionately affect minorities. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, family history of kidney failure, diabetes, [...]

Support New Kidney Care Act

2021-04-06T18:02:04+00:00April 1st, 2021|Categories: Care Coordination, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Spotlight|

By Antonio Green of Virginia Beach, VA. While working in Abu Dhabi, I found out I had kidney disease and needed to begin dialysis. I was able to continue working abroad for a few more years, but a 2017 trip to the hospital showed me it was time to move back home. Since then, I’ve noticed that a better, more coordinated system is needed to help dialysis patients. Even when I had a care coordinator, I found the system never really worked for me. Whether it was managing medications, doctors’ appointments or even my attempts to get a kidney transplant, [...]

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