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DPC Advocates Help Push State Legislation Forward

2021-04-21T19:10:46+00:00April 20th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Medigap Coverage, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection, Uncategorized|

State legislatures are in high gear during spring, and efforts by state legislators to support dialysis patients are in full swing this month. We’ve already had several legislative victories on living organ donor protection bills, while Medigap expansion legislation for the ESRD population has been introduced in multiple states. With support from multiple DPC Patient Ambassadors and Board Members sharing their personal stories on these two policy issues, DPC is making robust arguments for states to actively help improve the quality of life for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. Kentucky, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington legislatures have already passed [...]

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 [...]

DPC Advocates Advance Dialysis Patient Issues at the State Level

2021-02-25T14:12:53+00:00February 19th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Medigap Coverage, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

Despite the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis, many state legislators recognize the added challenges faced by dialysis patients every day. Some have responded by introducing legislation to increased dialysis patient access to Medigap plans to help patients cover their 20% coinsurance expenses. Others are working to advance legislation to help increase the pool of living kidney donors. DPC would like to recognize some of the patient leaders who are elevating the patient voice by educating state legislators on the importance of these efforts. DPC Board Members Adrian Miller and Pius Charles Murray are pressing for passage of critical legislation in their [...]

Open Enrollment Period for Current Medicare Advantage Members

2021-01-27T16:58:56+00:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage|

From January 1 – March 31 each year, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare (and join a separate Medicare drug plan) once during this time. If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7 last year) you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan or go back to Original Medicare within the first 3 months of 2021. To help kidney patients explore their options, Dialysis Patient Citizens has established Dialysis Plan Choice, an online tool designed [...]

State Legislatures Introduce Bills that Would Positively Impact Dialysis Patients

2021-01-27T16:54:50+00:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Medigap Coverage, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

With the start of the new year, state legislatures throughout the country are beginning their legislative sessions with a flurry of new bills being introduced on a wide-ranging number of topics. While the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact will dominate much of the activity at state houses across the country this year, we are encouraged that some of the bills already filed this session would improve health outcomes for dialysis patients. Both Arizona and Kentucky have already introduced bills to expand Medicare supplemental insurance, or Medigap. This is significant because Arizona and Kentucky are two of the 28 states that [...]

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 [...]

Happy Holidays and DPC’s Top Accomplishments for 2020

2020-12-04T14:46:35+00:00December 16th, 2020|Categories: About DPC, Article, Care Coordination, Legal Defense, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, State Advocacy, Take Action|

Dialysis Patient Citizens wants to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday, as well as a safe and healthy New Year. DPC offices will be closed for the holidays starting December 24 through January 1. We also want to take this opportunity to share our list of Top Accomplishments for 2020, 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 2021 as we work together to [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens and Consumers’ Checkbook Introduce Dialysis Plan Choice To Help Patients During Open Enrollment

2020-11-02T20:06:26+00:00November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Care Coordination, Medicare Advantage, Press Release|

WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) today introduced Dialysis Plan Choice, a new online tool designed in collaboration with Consumers' Checkbook for dialysis patients to quickly and easily compare their current Medicare Fee-For-Service plan with the options available to them through Medicare Advantage now that Open Enrollment is underway. "For many dialysis patients, this year marks the first time they will be eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans thanks to the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016," said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. "Since this is new territory for many dialysis patients, we wanted to provide them with [...]

DPC Hosts Successful Virtual Patient Advocacy Day

2020-09-22T14:56:29+00:00September 20th, 2020|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Medigap Coverage, Take Action|

DPC patient activists and health care professionals from across the country met with Members of Congress and their legislative staff to advocate on behalf of dialysis patients during DPC’s Annual Advocacy Day on September 15, 2020. This was DPC's largest Annual Advocacy Day with representatives from 32 states and close to 200 virtual Congressional office meetings. It was also DPC's first virtual Advocacy Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic—all Congressional meetings were held via telephone. Advocates asked Congress to ensure all dialysis patients gain access to Medigap through passage of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. They also discussed the [...]

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