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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 [...]

DPC Comments on CMS Proposed ESRD Annual Payment Rule to Increase Dialysis Patient Quality Care

2020-09-22T15:12:47+00:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Access to Transplant, Care Coordination, Comment Letter, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Quality Incentive Program, Treatment Options|

Each year—typically during the summer—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) puts out rules for how they are going to pay for dialysis treatment. The rules reflect CMS’ latest policies, and organizations have the opportunity to provide feedback about the rules before they go into effect on January 1. DPC provided feedback to CMS regarding their End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Annual Payment rule. DPC’s letter addresses the following important topics for improving ESRD patient care: Protect Access for Costlier Patients by Completing Reconsideration of Case-Mix Adjusters Protect Access for Patients in Disadvantaged Regions by Addressing Social Risk Factors Focus [...]

DPC’s 2020 Annual Membership Survey is Live!

2020-12-08T19:51:50+00:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Article, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Dental Coverage, Dialysis Funding, Get Involved, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Innovation, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Quality Incentive Program, Take Action, Transplant Donor Protection, Transportation Services, Treatment Options|Tags: |

Elevate the Voice of Patients with Kidney Disease and Their Caregivers Our 2020 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 21. We are counting on your participation, as patient 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. Your feedback is crucial. Therefore, we will [...]

Action Alert – Help us Increase Patient Access to Immunosuppressive Medications

2020-07-28T16:29:34+00:00July 28th, 2020|Categories: Article, Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage, Medicare Advantage, News, Take Action|

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (H.R. 5534, S. 3353) is gaining momentum in Congress, and we need your help continuing to get the word out. This bill was introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX), as well as Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). This legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs beyond the current limit of 36 months for patients who are unable to obtain health insurance coverage elsewhere. Immunosuppressive medications play a critical role in preventing transplant recipients from rejecting a donor kidney. Right now, after dialysis patients receive a transplant, [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Files Lawsuit Against HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma Over New Regulation That Undercuts Dialysis Patient Access to Affordable, High-Quality Care

2020-09-24T16:18:19+00:00June 22nd, 2020|Categories: Care Coordination, Legal Defense, Medicare Advantage, News, Press Release|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 22, 2020) -- Today, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in opposition to a discriminatory new federal regulation that will limit the ability of hundreds of thousands of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to access affordable, high quality treatment. “ESRD patients successfully fought to get Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that would ensure [...]

Medicare Removes Important Protection for Dialysis Patients in Managed Care Plans

2020-05-26T18:43:33+00:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a regulation for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that eliminates time and distance limits from network adequacy requirements for dialysis facilities. Network adequacy requirements for health plans ensure that patients can have access to all necessary providers with reasonable promptness. Time and distance limits prescribe a maximum driving time or distance in miles that a consumer must travel to get to a doctor or facility. The limits are higher in rural areas. CMS replaced the time and distance limits with another standard, a network “consistent with the prevailing community pattern [...]

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