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Final ESCO Evaluation Documents Care Coordination Success Story

2022-03-22T12:48:08+00:00March 2nd, 2022|Categories: Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

Medicare’s Comprehensive ESRD Care Model was designed to identify, test, and evaluate new ways to improve care for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. It established ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) that brought dialysis clinics and nephrologists together to coordinate patients’ kidney- and non-kidney care. This demonstration project ended last year and was replaced by a similar one this year. The Medicare Innovation Center has released the final evaluation report for the ESCOs. Overall, the ESCOs showed modest but statistically significant results over the five performance years, reducing Medicare expenditures. The number of hospitalizations decreased 3% and the percent of beneficiaries with [...]

2022’s State Advocacy Kick-Off

2022-02-22T21:13:22+00:00February 17th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy, Transplant Donor Protection|

It’s been a busy start in 2022 for DPC’s state advocacy efforts. While many states are holding shorter legislative sessions due to the upcoming primary elections, bills impacting dialysis patients are being introduced and moving quickly through the legislative process. Legislation to expanded Medigap access has already been introduced in Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Improving access to Medicare supplementary (Medigap) plans is a top policy priority for DPC, and we are pleased that multiple states are considering how they can help, particularly in states that have limited or no access to Medigap for the under [...]

Medicare Kicks Off New Kidney Care Demonstration Project

2022-02-22T21:10:20+00:00February 1st, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Increase Quality of Care, Medicare Advantage, News, Promote Financial Security, Treatment Options|

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced 85 sites for its Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Demonstration Project, which started January 1, 2022. The program, initially announced by President Donald Trump in July 2019, is intended to “help health care providers reduce the cost and improve the quality of care for patients with late-stage chronic kidney disease and ESRD… and to delay the need for dialysis and encourage kidney transplantation.” KCC consists of two separate programs. In Kidney Care First (KCF), participating nephrology practices receive payments on a per-patient basis for managing the care of patients with late-stage chronic kidney [...]

DPC Responds to Medicare Officials’ Request for Information on Transplants and Home Modalities

2022-01-31T16:23:04+00:00January 31st, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Advance Patient Choice, Article, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are preparing new initiatives to promote transplant and home dialysis, and asked the public for recommendations. The request came as part of the President’s Executive Orders “to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for people in need of a life-saving transplant and dialysis,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. DPC responded to several elements of the request. Equity in Organ Transplantation – DPC reiterated its position, shared by many experts, that Medicare should supplement payments on behalf of disadvantaged patients so providers can give them extra assistance in seeking transplants. [...]

DPC Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case

2022-08-04T18:46:58+00:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Legal Defense, Medicare Advantage, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

DPC filed a “friend of the court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Marietta Memorial Hospital v. DaVita. The case involves a dialysis patient whose employer-sponsored health insurance plan tied reimbursements for dialysis to Medicare prices. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that this constituted illegal discrimination. The employer appealed the decision, which is now scheduled for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 1. DPC’s brief argues that such discrimination circumvents dialysis patients’ right to keep their employer coverage for up to 30 months before Medicare becomes their private insurance. DPC emphasized the three [...]

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Review and/or Change your Medicare Health Plan

2021-10-28T12:59:28+00:00October 13th, 2021|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage|

As a friendly reminder, the Medicare Open Enrollment period takes place annually from October 15 through December 7. This is your chance to review your current medical and prescription drug plan(s) to take note of any changes in the cost or coverage and, if needed, switch to another plan that may better meet your medical needs, save you money or both. Eligible enrollees have the option to select Original Medicare or opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. When considering Original Medicare, be sure to check if you’re eligible to purchase supplemental insurance, known as Medigap, to help cover the 20% coinsurance [...]

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 [...]

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