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Happy Thanksgiving from DPC Board, Staff, and Volunteers!

2023-11-21T16:47:23+00:00November 21st, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medigap Coverage, News, Private Insurance Coverage|

DPC would like to wish our many patient advocates, family, friends, and healthcare partners a happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for all of these hard-working individuals and for their dedication to the kidney community, as well as their effort to help elevate the patient voice. This year, our patient advocates helped to secure passage of critical legislation at the federal level to help modernize the transplant system. We also worked hard to educate hundreds of policy makers about the importance of protecting dialysis patient access to private insurance coverage, as well as the need to provide access to Medicare secondary [...]

Dialysis

2023-11-27T17:44:31+00:00November 19th, 2023|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Ten years ago while working for an airline my life changed. I was diagnosed with kidney failure, and I learned I'd need dialysis to survive. Eight years of dialysis and a transplant later, I am writing now to advocate for kidney patients everywhere. For three years, I received dialysis in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Despite initial difficulties, my dialysis care was relatively seamless. When I returned to the United States, Medicare required that I submit a plethora of paperwork. I had to pay out-of-pocket for more than 18 months while waiting for Medicare. Dialysis should not be more affordable in [...]

DPC Commentary Discusses How Workforce Shortages Impact Patients

2023-09-28T15:36:01+00:00September 20th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Promote Financial Security, Staffing Shortages, Uncategorized|

A commentary about workforce shortage issues authored by DPC Vice President of Public Policy Jackson Williams amplifies findings from this summer’s DPC member survey to explain how ESRD patients have been impacted. The article also discusses how Medicare policies must adapt for an era with fewer working-age Americans and more retirees. The article is available on AJMC’s website: https://www.ajmc.com/view/contributor-medicare-s-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce, as well as on DPC’s website: https://www.dialysispatients.org/news/medicares-leadership-needs-to-confront-our-shrinking-us-workforce/.

AJMC Contributor Article: Medicare’s Leadership Needs to Confront Our Shrinking US Workforce

2023-09-26T19:48:08+00:00September 17th, 2023|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, News, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, Staffing Shortages|

Written by Jackson Williams, JD, DPC Vice President of Public Policy Medicare’s administered pricing system has never had to deal with labor scarcity before. Fifteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine issued its report, “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce,” that warned of looming health workforce shortages due to demographic changes. The era foreseen by that report has likely arrived. Labor shortages are beginning to impact patient care. Media reports indicate numerous instances of hospitals declaring “contingency standards of care” or ordering ambulance diversions due to staffing shortages. I’m an advocate for patients who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), who [...]

Medicare Policy Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Those on Dialysis

2023-09-18T16:52:48+00:00September 8th, 2023|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Policy Issues, Staffing Shortages, Treatment Options|

CEOs of 3 kidney care organizations explain flaws in CMS' recent reimbursement proposal. In recent years, lawmakers have turned their attention to advancing health equity and creating opportunities for the improvement of historically underserved communities—and rightly so. The urgent need for such improvements is dramatically apparent for people who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure. While people of all races and ethnicities develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) at similar rates, ESRD disproportionately impacts people of color. Black Americans make up 13% of the US population, but the disparities are evident when one considers that they account for 35% of Americans with [...]

DPC Raises Alarm on Health Workforce Shortages

2023-08-28T17:39:40+00:00August 23rd, 2023|Categories: Article, Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

DPC’s letter commenting on this year’s ESRD Payment Rule warns that Medicare is not addressing workforce shortages that are impacting patient care. The letter reports the following findings from our recent member survey: 62% of patients reported that the recent labor shortages had impacted their care: 43% said that staff turnover disrupted their care; 28% reported delays to their treatment; and 7% reported that they had to change shifts or facilities. In 2013, in response to a question about wait times at facilities, the same proportion of patients, 14%, reported increases in wait times as decreases in wait times. This year, [...]

DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P)

2023-09-14T16:35:23+00:00August 18th, 2023|Categories: Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care, Staffing Shortages|

August 18, 2023 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:       End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Proposed Rule (CMS-1782-P) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently about 35,000, is restricted to kidney disease patients and their family members. DPC is a patient-led organization.  Our by-laws require that the President, Vice President and at least 51% of the Board be current dialysis patients.  The non-dialysis patients serving on our Board [...]

DPC Elevates Patient Advocacy Work to State Lawmakers

2023-08-28T17:45:24+00:00August 17th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, Policy Issues, State Advocacy|

Over August 14 – 16, 2023, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) spent time advocating for dialysis patients at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Annual Legislative Summit, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yolanda Brisbane, Grassroots Manager and State Advocacy Directors, Elizabeth Lively and Pamela Zielske spoke with lawmakers from across the nation about issues that impact dialysis patients. With more than 6,000 legislators and staff in attendance, the NCSL conference was a tremendous opportunity to elevate our advocacy work with state policymakers. Conversations also extended to delegations from around the globe, as attendees from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal, India, Brazil, Germany, [...]

OP-ED Calls for equal Medigap coverage for all Medicare Enrollees

2023-08-28T17:51:56+00:00August 8th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage|

In a compelling opinion piece authored by Rich Sutphin, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rural Health Association, the call was made to West Virginia policymakers to ensure that their constituents were treated equally regarding access to affordable Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance coverage. The opinion piece was picked up by newspapers across the state, including The Herald Dispatch, The Weston Democrat, Mineral News and Tribune, The Jackson Star and Herald, The Wayne County News, The Preston County News and Journal and the West Virginia Press Association. You can read the op-ed here: https://wvpress.org/wvpa-sharing/opinion-west-virginia-kidney-patients-deserve-access-to-care-at-any-age/ DPC invites you to share your story in [...]

Affordable Medigap Access Now Available in Rhode Island, Kentucky and Virginia Coming Soon!

2023-07-27T14:32:58+00:00July 25th, 2023|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, State Advocacy|

During 2022 and 2023, DPC worked tirelessly to secure passage of legislation providing access to affordable Medigap coverage for under age 65 kidney failure patients living in three states. Those states – Kentucky, Rhode Island and Virginia, are creating regulations to implement the new state laws. The law in Rhode Island became effective July 1, 2023. In Kentucky and Virginia, the laws passed this year become effective January 1, 2024. If you live in one of these states and are not yet age 65, check with your dialysis facility finance or social workers to learn more about the Medigap Plans being [...]

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