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HHS Announces Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Modernization Initiative

2023-03-29T16:40:11+00:00March 22nd, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Treatment Options|

In March, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a Modernization Initiative to strengthen accountability and transparency in the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The initiative includes posting of data dashboards detailing individual transplant center and organ procurement organization performance; improvement of the OPTN IT system; and competitive bidding to manage the OPTN. “Every day, patients and families across the United States rely on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to save the lives of their loved ones who experience organ failure,” said Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator. [...]

National Kidney Month Reminds Us of the Possibilities of Life on Dialysis

2023-03-29T16:45:07+00:00February 21st, 2023|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Policy Issues, Spotlight, Treatment Options|

The coming March marks the start of National Kidney Month, a time to promote kidney health, raise awareness of the obstacles facing patients, and advocate for policies that help them as they navigate life with kidney disease. However, National Kidney Month also means so much more. It is an opportunity to spread awareness of the fact that being on dialysis doesn’t mean having to put your life on hold. You can still pursue a career and do the things you love most, whether that’s traveling, camping, or spending time with family and friends. At Dialysis Patient Citizens, we are extremely [...]

2023 State Advocacy Kick-Off

2023-01-26T14:35:32+00:00January 25th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, News, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

It’s been a busy start in 2023 for DPC’s state advocacy efforts. Bills impacting dialysis patients are being introduced in multiple state legislatures and moving quickly through the legislative process. Legislation to expand Medigap access has already been introduced in Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Virginia. Improving Medigap access is a top policy priority for DPC, and we are pleased that multiple states are considering how they can expand access to Medigap plans, particularly in states that have limited or no access to Medigap for the under-age 65 End State Renal Disease (ESRD) population. Hearings are scheduled in the coming days [...]

Congressional Update

2023-01-26T14:32:29+00:00January 9th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, Policy Issues|

The 118th Congress was sworn in earlier this month. It started off in historic fashion with a protracted fight on the House floor to elect a Speaker of the House, which Kevin McCarthy ultimately achieved on the 15th ballot. With Republicans controlling the House, and Democrats holding the White House and an expanded margin in the Senate, Congress will have to bridge the partisan gap to ensure the government remains open and in possession of its full faith and credit. Healthcare will of course be a major focus for the 118th Congress. At DPC will be working hard with our advocates [...]

No Escaping Kidney Disease

2023-01-09T20:38:02+00:00December 29th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

To the Editor: Life with kidney disease is all I’ve ever known. I was born with this hidden illness and started receiving dialysis treatments at just 25 years old. Over the years, I’ve experienced the various hurdles patients face both as a kidney patient and as someone who is legally blind. Before my kidney transplant in 2018, I did in-center dialysis. As someone who is visually impaired, driving to and from the center wasn’t an option, so I relied on other forms of transportation, which became costly. I’m covered by Medicare and Medicaid for the dialysis itself, but still have [...]

Blankenship: Kidney Patients Need Better Access to Coverage

2022-12-21T17:39:28+00:00December 21st, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Learning you have kidney disease can be overwhelming, something I found out myself while camping in 2003. It’s hard for patients to get the information they need about living with kidney disease, and for many patients the costs of treatment are excessive. Starting on dialysis brought with it a lot of changes, one of them being that I had to cut back on my working hours. Kidney disease as a whole can make a person weak, and going through dialysis treatments for several hours multiple times a week can take a lot out of you. Because of that, though, I [...]

Protect Dialysis Patients’ Coverage

2022-12-20T17:27:43+00:00December 18th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

I have been on dialysis treatments for almost 13 years due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney disease can be a lot to handle with frequent dialysis treatments, doctor's appointments, and medications. On top of the medical responsibilities, I must ensure I have the proper insurance coverage. Initially after my diagnosis, I was fortunate to be covered by my wife’s employer-sponsored insurance. However, after 30 months, I had to switch to Medicare as my primary coverage, with my wife’s plan as my secondary coverage. This was often confusing in billing situations and created a hassle for me to explain to [...]

Dialysis patients across America are counting on Congress

2022-11-18T17:10:01+00:00November 15th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

In October 2016, kidney disease forced me to start dialysis and retire from my career as a firefighter paramedic. This disease runs in my family, with my brother and mother also suffering. I currently require dialysis treatment three times a week and have to travel 72 miles round trip to the center for five-hour-long treatments. Dialysis costs me both time and money. Transporting myself to the center is costly, but it is my only out-of-pocket expense. My treatments are completely covered through both my private insurance and Medicare. However, many patients, such as my brother, are not as fortunate. Medicare [...]

Texas dialysis patients under 65 need help getting coverage

2022-11-07T19:38:16+00:00November 3rd, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

I've had a progressive kidney disease for several years and my doctor eventually referred me to a nephrologist to help manage my kidney health. Fifteen months ago I needed to start dialysis and I am fortunate because the treatments have gone very well. I’ve largely been able to get the coverage I need through Medicare and my supplemental Medigap coverage which pays for what Medicare won’t, outside of three medications that Medicare Part B and Part D doesn’t cover.Sadly, for many patients under 65 this isn’t the case, as they don’t have affordable access to Medigap plans. Lawmakers could help [...]

CA Dialysis Patients Need Lawmakers’ Help

2022-11-02T13:36:08+00:00October 31st, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Finding out I needed to start dialysis two years ago was tough to accept. I’d always been an athlete, so I felt like this wasn’t something I’d have to face. But after low kidney counts for more than 5 years, I had to start treatments. Beyond difficult treatments, the financial burden they come with is enormous. I’m fortunate, however, to have a job at Life Alert Emergency Response that lets me tailor my schedule so I can stay employed and still receive health coverage. However, even between that plan and the secondary coverage I receive through Medicare, my monthly costs [...]

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