The Trouble With Bundles

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 19th, 2024|Categories: Increase Quality of Care, Innovation|

This op-ed was written by Jackson Williams, DPC Vice President of Public Policy, and originally published on AMJC's website: www.ajmc.com/view/contributor-the-trouble-with-bundles. Payment bundling is a technique aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing low-value care during a treatment episode.In recent years, it has expanded from prospective payment systems (PPS) centered upon a discrete treatment to encompass broader episodes of care surrounding such treatments. For the most part, policymakers and patient advocates have viewed these bundles as a benign form of cost containment. But a spate of new developments—including evaluation reports relating to CMMI Institute episode-based payment demonstrations and stories of patients unable to [...]

Americans on dialysis need Congress’ help

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 19th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

When I began dialysis, I took advantage of Medicare, private insurance and charity funding to pay for my treatment. However, I often speak to other patients who do not have access to supplemental insurance and end up being stuck paying the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Paying out-of-pocket for dialysis is simply impossible for most Americans. For years, Marylanders on dialysis could keep their private insurance for 30 months after their diagnosis, which allows them wider treatment options while adjusting to their new normal. However, a recent Supreme Court decision may allow private insurance companies to single out dialysis [...]

Letters: Dialysis patients need protections

2024-04-24T16:17:55+00:00February 15th, 2024|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Spotlight|

Dialysis patients often open the mail to find thousands of dollars worth of medical bills they can’t afford. Without the proper insurance, affording dialysis treatment is all but impossible. I began dialysis back in college, so at the time, I took advantage of my mother’s private insurance to cover costs. However, I was kicked off of my mother’s insurance at 26 years old without yet qualifying for Medicare. Suddenly losing private insurance caused significant stress and anxiety in my life, and I know patients who want to quit dialysis because of financial stress. Therefore, I am particularly concerned with a [...]

Letter to the Editor: Dialysis patients need some help

2024-04-17T16:01:17+00:00February 15th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Dear Editor: How would you feel if your life-saving medical treatment was out of reach? Well, a recent Supreme Court decision allows private insurance companies to put new dialysis patients in a difficult position by severely limiting coverage in the first 30 months of treatment, even though patients have long been guaranteed full coverage within that time. Congress must act, for the very survival of kidney care in America is at stake. As a dialysis patient myself, I know how difficult paying for treatment can be. In California, I am covered by Medicare, with MediCal covering the 20 percent of [...]

DPC Recognizes Patients and Dialysis Staff as Part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 14th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Promote Financial Security|

In January, DPC kicked off a year-long 20th Anniversary celebration by recognizing one of our outstanding patient advocates, and thanked dialysis facility staff who go above “the extra mile” to provide exceptional care, even in the face of recent staffing shortages. Gene Blankenship was the recipient of DPC’s inaugural Patient Advocacy Champion Award for his work in advocating for dialysis patients with his elected officials. DPC also awarded its inaugural Dialysis Dynamo awards to Amanda Byrd, AA/CCHT, Alicia Caldwell, RN, CDN, Sean Scearce, PA, and Marcy Stites, RN, for their hard work providing 5-star quality care for an underserved, rural community [...]

Restore hope to dialysis patients

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 10th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Spotlight|

Last year, I wrote to you about my journey as a kidney patient after my diagnosis in 2017 and I’m writing to you again to call on Congresswoman Stephanie Bice to protect kidney patients like me. Recently, a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court made weakens protections for dialysis patients by allowing private insurance to lessen coverage and force patients onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month grace period. The problem is Medicare only covers 80% of a dialysis patient’s bill, including mine. Luckily, I’m able to continue working, but I have to fight tooth-and-nail to pay my bills. Although I can [...]

Help dialysis patients

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 2nd, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Americans should not have to fight tooth and nail to pay for lifesaving health care. Yet, this is an unfortunate reality for dialysis patients in America. When I began dialysis, I lost my private insurance since I could not work anymore. Relying on Medicare with little family support, I struggled to pay for my required treatment. Traditionally, private insurance companies cover dialysis for 30 months after starting treatment to ensure patients focus on their health, not their finances. Yet, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could allow private insurance to weaken this 30-month coverage. As a dialysis patient and advocate, [...]

Action Alert – Protect ESRD Patient Access to Private Coverage

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 1st, 2024|Categories: Article, Private Insurance Coverage, Promote Financial Security, Take Action|

In December, The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act (H.R. 6860) was introduced by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL), Danny Davis (D-IL), John Joyce, MD (R-PA) and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA) to help ensure that  ESRD patients can stay on the insurance coverage of their choice. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision threatens access to private coverage by permitting health plans to carve off dialysis benefits from their networks and impose restrictive terms on patients. This legislation would restore the protections Congress intended to guarantee for over 40 years. DPC has been compiling Letters to [...]

2024 Advocacy Day – 24 Hours Left to Apply!

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00January 25th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, Take Action|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) will host our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Congressional Advocacy Day May 6-7, 2024. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their applications, legislative priorities, and previous involvement in DPC's advocacy efforts. We will hold a training session ahead of our congressional meeting for those participating to explain the process and review our current legislative “asks.” The application period is open until January 26, 2024. We just ask that you tell us a little about yourself and why you think you would be a good candidate for this incredible opportunity. We will make a decision [...]

Congress: Prevent Dialysis Patients’ Unnecessary Suffering

2024-03-29T01:09:13+00:00January 23rd, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Kidney failure touches the lives of millions of Americans. Dialysis and transplants are the only treatments for this life-altering disease. I have been on dialysis for 10 years, which has been a physical and mental roller coaster. In the first five years of treatment, I relied on employer-provided insurance. This private insurance provided comprehensive care, including dental and eye care. However, I lost that comprehensive coverage when I transitioned to Medicare. Although I am doing well, it would’ve been tough to start on Medicare at the beginning of my dialysis journey. Unfortunately, a recent Supreme Court ruling now allows private [...]

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