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 [...]

DPC’s Letter to the California Assembly About Quality Ratings

2020-03-21T20:41:50+00:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Comment Letter|

Assembly Member Jim Wood Chair Committee on Health State Capitol, Room 6005 Sacramento, CA 95814 Assembly Member Chad Mayes Vice Chair Committee on Health State Capitol, Room 6005 Sacramento, CA 95814 Re: Support for AB 1448 Dear Chairman Wood and Vice Chairman Mayes: With 32,000 dialysis patient members, over 4,000 of whom reside in California, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) is the nation’s largest patient-led organization representing individuals with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).  On behalf of California’s 70,000 ESRD patients and the DPC Board of Directors, I am writing to express our strong support for [...]

CMS Announces Changes to Dialysis Facility Compare and Star Ratings

2020-03-21T20:44:12+00:00November 14th, 2016|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article|

On October 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added patient experience survey results and two new clinical quality measures as well as updated the way CMS calculates star ratings on its Dialysis Facility Compare website. The star ratings were originally included on the Dialysis Facility Compare website on January 22, 2015 and were previously updated in October 2015. Currently, there are star ratings on Dialysis Facility Compare, Nursing Home Compare, Physician Compare, Home Health Compare and Hospital Compare. CMS is adding patient experience of care survey information from the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and [...]

Proposed Changes to Dialysis Facility Compare Tool May Make It More Useful

2020-03-21T20:44:33+00:00March 16th, 2016|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Comment Letter|

Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) is an online tool that allows users to search and compare dialysis facilities based on star ratings and certain measures. DPC has previously submitted suggestions on how to improve the proposed measures. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a Planned Changes document that the star ratings included in the DFC would be reassigned based on a 2014 threshold, meaning that the distribution of ratings would look more like it does on CMS’ other websites, and apply standards that are more familiar and intuitive to consumers. DPC submitted another comment letter (published [...]

2015 Year in Review

2020-03-21T20:44:57+00:00January 19th, 2016|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dialysis Funding, Innovation, Medicare Advantage|Tags: |

Happy New Year!  In 2015, DPC leadership and its strong patient advocacy efforts at the state level fought to: prevent dramatic cuts to dialysis funding in Alabama and Illinois and preserve charity payments for dialysis patient premiums. Other highlights include: The opportunity for DPC CEO Hrant Jamgochian and board member Bob Lee to testify in front of the Oregon insurance commissioner on the discriminatory language found in two private insurance plans that would limit coverage for ESRD patients. The commissioner ruled against the language. DPC board member Danny Iniguez discussed health disparities in kidney disease at the National Black Caucus [...]

DPC Submits Feedback to CMS on Proposed Additions to Dialysis Facility Compare Tool

2020-03-21T20:44:57+00:00December 11th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Comment Letter|

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to add more measures to their Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC). The DFC is an online tool that allows users to search and compare dialysis facilities within a certain area based on ratings and certain measures. The added measures would examine fluid management, the rate of blood stream infections in in-center hemodialysis patients and pediatric peritoneal dialysis adequacy. Data collected through the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems In-Center Hemodialysis (CAHPS ICH) surveys would also be added to the DFC. DPC submitted comments to CMS supporting the addition of these measures [...]

Report Finds Star Rating System Does Not Follow Federal Guidelines

2020-03-21T20:45:20+00:00August 14th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Uncategorized|

The Medicare five-star rating system, maintained by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS), has recently come under scrutiny by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE). In a letter from last month, CRE officials report that multiple entities have contacted them about the system possibly violating federal regulations. According to the letter, data from the rating system helps in determining rebates, eligibility and bonuses for patients.  Current law requires this information be posted on a federal register to receive comments from stakeholders.  CRE officials found CMS has instead been posting the information on their website and providing only summaries of comments. [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens’ Statement of Principles to Guide Formulation of Star Ratings

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00April 21st, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) endorses the following six principles to guide formulation of star ratings for Dialysis Facility Compare: Star ratings must use metrics that represent aspects of care that are important to patients. Star ratings should not simply rely upon any information that happens to be available; patient priorities should be ascertained and reflected in the ratings. Star ratings must drive improvement. Facilities should be held to absolute standards. They must be able to improve their scores through improved quality regardless of how competing facilities perform. Competition among facilities should be realistic, e.g., facilities in regions with generally poor health [...]

DPC Board Members to Serve on Three Technical Expert Panels

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00April 7th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regularly schedules technical expert panels (TEPs) to advise the agency on quality measures. In the words of CMS, a TEP is “a group of stakeholders and experts who provide technical input…on the development, selection, and maintenance of measures for which CMS contractors are responsible.” CMS is contracting with the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC) to host a TEP on the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system. While the complete roster of participants is not public yet, we are pleased to announce that DPC Interim President Jack Reynolds was selected [...]

What are Dialysis Patients’ Priorities for Quality Information? Insights from DPC Patient Survey

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00March 11th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Quality Incentive Program|

After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its plans to release the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system, DPC began to discuss with its membership what would make such a rating system successful. The two areas that DPC’s Board Members, Patient Ambassadors and membership all rated highest were 1) staff respect/listening and 2) patient education. Staff Respect/Listening: This topic compresses two questions from the annual Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) questionnaire that Medicare requires dialysis patients to complete. It was even more apparent during our focus group discussions of our survey responses how upset [...]