The winter storm that recently crippled the state of Texas was difficult to watch, knowing millions of people were struggling to access electricity, heat, and clean water. But this situation was even more dire for dialysis patients whose lives literally depend on these resources, as well as the access to safe transportation to them. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance after this storm, please visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ to apply for assistance. Additionally, as a dialysis patient, should you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, please visit https://www.kcercoalition.com/en/patients/ for more information.
Elevate the Voice of Patients with Kidney Disease and Their Caregivers Our 2020 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 21. We are counting on your participation, as patient 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. Your feedback is crucial. Therefore, we will [...]
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which is the federal Agency that oversees the Medicare program, recently reiterated its commitment to ensuring dialysis patient access to care during the current pandemic. They said that if any dialysis patients are having problems with transportation, that prevent you from getting to dialysis, they want to help. CMS also knows that your dialysis access is your lifeline, so if you have any complications with your fistula, graft or catheter and need help – that is why they created the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network Program – to help patients. So, while [...]
Here is a list of resources for dialysis patients to help them get additional support during the COVID-19 viral outbreak and beyond. Resource topics include: disability, financial assistance, nutrition, healthcare, housing and utilities, jobs, transportation, women and children, daily living, and staying safe. In addition, visit your state department of health website for COVID-19 information that is specific to your area.
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 [...]
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 [...]
A recent proposed rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided guidance for market stabilization of the Affordable Care Act. Within this proposed rule, network adequacy provisions for dialysis clinics provided a narrow scope for insurers. In comments submitted by DPC on March 6, we argued stronger time and distance criteria need to be added to these provisions. Research shows there is little difference between living in a metropolitan area compared to living in a rural environment, but there are significant mortality risks associated with actual distance from a dialysis facility. Additionally, after only 15 minutes of [...]
Last month, DPC sent a letter commenting on the “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017” proposed rule. This annual rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contains proposed changes to the exchange plan coverage of the Affordable Care Act. DPC’s letter focuses on the importance of insurance coverage and network quality for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. One issue the letter comments on pertains to network adequacy. Network adequacy describes an insurance plan’s ability to provide a sufficient amount of in-network providers to subscribers in the plan. Suggestions to improve network adequacy include requiring all [...]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin expanding a prior authorization model for non-emergency ambulance transportation for dialysis patients into six states: Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The program expansion will begin on January 1, 2016 and requires ambulance providers in those states to obtain documentation from physicians prior to beginning service. CMS plans to reach out to ambulance providers and Medicare beneficiaries about the program through educational materials. This model was originally implemented in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. It came in response to fraud cases found in those states, [...]
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Crack Down on New Jersey Ambulance Companies that Fraudulently Bill Medicare
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is continuing a four-month crackdown on Medicare fraud in New Jersey. CMS has accused ambulance companies of fraudulently billing Medicare for transporting patients to non-emergency dialysis, chemotherapy and wound care. CMS found that these ambulance trips in New Jersey were twice the national average (from 2002 to 2011), and that the number of trips per patient was up approximately 60%. At least 11 ambulance companies report closing in recent months. The ambulance companies in New Jersey are now required to obtain pre-authorization from Medicare to transport a given patient, and many of [...]