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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. [...]

DPC’s Letter to Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator for CMMI

2021-04-14T17:48:35+00:00March 8th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage|

Ms. Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation 2810 Lord Baltimore Drive Windsor Mill, MD 21244. Dear Ms. Fowler: We are seeking a bottom-up review of the ESRD Treatment Choice (ETC) demonstration including consideration of other options to pilot innovations to improve home dialysis take-up and kidney transplantation. Like other kidney advocates, we appreciated the long-overdue cabinet-level attention that was paid to these issues under the Trump administration. But, the ETC program is flawed in concept and execution, and represents a missed opportunity to address pressing problems. As explained in greater detail below, we think it would be [...]

Recent Healthcare Activity Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

2021-01-27T16:49:44+00:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage|

The past two years have seen a flurry of activity aimed at addressing "social determinants of health” (SDOH) that historically get short shrift in the health care system. SDOH refers to the range of social, environmental, and economic factors that can influence health status—conditions that can often have a greater impact on health outcomes than the actual delivery of health services. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to state health officials encouraging strategies in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to improve health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and lower overall costs in Medicaid [...]

In Rejecting Prop 23, California Voters Protect Patient Access to Care

2020-12-08T19:53:35+00:00November 10th, 2020|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, State Advocacy|

California voters overwhelmingly opposed Proposition 23, a statewide measure that threatened dialysis patient access to care. It was the second ballot measure in California proposed by a labor union in the last two years and the second resounding defeat for the union, and this time by an even wider margin than in 2018. DPC was part of a broad and diverse coalition that included other patient advocacy organizations, dialysis providers and caregivers, and groups representing physicians, nurses, veterans and social justice communities that opposed this harmful measure because it threatened patients’ access to care and would have increased overall health care costs [...]

CMS Announces Penalties and Rewards for Promoting Home Dialysis and Transplants

2020-09-22T14:49:34+00:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Dialysis Funding, Transplant Donor Protection, Treatment Options|

On September 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. The ETC Model was a cornerstone of President Trump’s Advancing Kidney Health Executive Order in 2019. It encourages an increased use of home dialysis and kidney transplants in approximately 30 percent of dialysis facilities and nephrology practices and will be implemented on January 1, 2021. CMS estimated reduced expenditures of $23 million over five and a half years, anticipating that providers assigned to the program will be penalized for not meeting standards. DPC and many other kidney groups opposed this [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Increase Dialysis Patient Quality Care

2020-09-22T15:12:47+00:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Care Coordination, Comment Letter, Innovation, Medicaid, 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: Protect Access for Costlier Patients by Completing Reconsideration of Case-Mix Adjusters Protect Access for Patients in Disadvantaged Regions by Addressing Social Risk Factors Focus [...]

DPC’s 2020 Annual Membership Survey is Live!

2020-12-08T19:51:50+00:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Get Involved, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Quality Incentive Program, Take Action, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

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 [...]

Increasing State Policy Maker Outreach to Better Support our Members During COVID-19

2020-09-24T16:21:40+00:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, State Advocacy|Tags: |

DPC works tirelessly on behalf of its patient members to elevate their voice and concerns to elected officials about policy issues that impact ESRD patients. As you know, DPC has expanded its state advocacy efforts over the past year and added two staff members who focus on state issues and government relations. So, how does an organization continue this level of engagement during a pandemic when state legislatures are recessed, and social distancing doesn’t allow face-to-face interactions? Moreover, most state governments are focused solely on fighting COVID-19 and not passing bills or expanding regulation unrelated to COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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