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2021 Annual Survey Last Call!

2021-08-26T11:49:25+00:00August 26th, 2021|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Protect Patient Care, Quality Incentive Program, Take Action, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

24 hours remain to complete our survey. Make sure to complete your survey for a chance at one of 10 remaining $100 gift certificates. Our 2021 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 27. Your feedback helps to shape our public policy agenda and patient education priorities for the next year. This year we ask that both patients and caregivers take our survey. Rest assured your responses will remain completely anonymous. We only share the overall survey results with state and federal level policy makers, so they will better understand your needs, experiences, and preferences. [...]

DPC Urges Medicare to Add Resources for Health Equity

2021-08-26T12:12:42+00:00August 19th, 2021|Categories: Comment Letter, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

DPC has filed its letter commenting on this year’s Medicare ESRD Proposed Rule, which governs payments to dialysis facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) heralded this year’s payment rules as undertaking new initiatives to reduce health disparities. DPC’s letter critiques these initiatives as insufficient and endorses alternative approaches. CMS is proposing to collect new data on racial disparities, and to stratify quality measures so that facilities serving disadvantaged patients no longer receive QIP payment reductions simply because patients are poor. DPC endorses these moves, but points to recent calls by experts to address disparities by supplementing payments to [...]

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Payments for End-Stage Renal Disease

2021-07-21T13:48:02+00:00July 1st, 2021|Categories: Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program|

On July 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) annual rulemaking. This proposed rule would update ESRD PPS payment rates, make changes to the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP), and modify the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model for 2022. The proposed changes to the ETC Model policies aim to encourage dialysis providers to decrease disparities in rates of home dialysis and kidney transplants among ESRD patients with lower socioeconomic status, making the model the agency’s first CMS Innovation Center project to address health equity. The ETC model rewards ESRD facilities and [...]

Both Sides of the Aisle Agree – We Need to Help Kidney Patients

2021-06-23T12:15:21+00:00June 9th, 2021|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Dialysis Funding, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

On June 8, 2021, Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S.1971), a bipartisan, bicameral bill designed to not only raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but also improve understanding and access to treatment for patients, which includes the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more that 1 in 7 US adults (about 37 million people) have CKD and that as many as 9 out of 10 of those adults [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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