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Constituents on Dialysis Need Leader McCarthy’s Help

2022-06-03T17:01:03+00:00May 27th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Editor, Being diagnosed with kidney disease when I was just 16 turned my life on its head overnight. Kidney failure can cause multiple medical complications. Partial loss of my vision and hearing, more than 17 years of dialysis treatments, infections, an enlarged heart, and eventually a kidney transplant have been just part of the journey. For all of these challenges, though, one hurdle I thankfully didn’t have to face was access to coverage. Since I was so young when I started treatment, my parents’ insurance helped pay for any costs that Medicare didn’t. For other dialysis patients under 65 that [...]

DPC Hosts Successful 2022 Congressional Advocacy Day

2022-05-24T18:57:59+00:00May 13th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Promote Financial Security|

On Thursday, May 12th, DPC hosted its’ annual Advocacy Day when we connect patients, family members, and Partners in Care with their Members of Congress so they can tell their story with dialysis and advocate for legislative priorities that would help them. Once again, out of an abundance of caution, our advocacy day was virtual, but we were still able to have wonderful participation. This year we had 113 participants who participated in 113 meetings and represented 29 states. They talked with their Congressional offices about The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act which would give all ESRD patients access to [...]

Dialysis, Kidney Transplant Patients Need Lawmakers To Help

2022-06-21T18:14:20+00:00May 5th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Fo­cal seg­men­tal glomeru­loscle­ro­sis (FSGS) caused my kid­neys to fail nearly 30 years ago. Since then, I’ve been on and off dial­y­sis as FSGS and the treat­ments it re­quires have taken their toll on my health and sev­eral trans­plant kid­neys. The treat­ment process and the costs as­so­ci­ated with it have been egre­gious. The high cost of med­ica­tions to keep trans­plant kid­neys healthy makes them fi­nan­cially un­ten­able for many pa­tients, and dial­y­sis comes with a heavy cost, too. That’s with­out fac­tor­ing in the med­ical ex­penses due to the skin can­cer and bone dis­ease caused by the FSGS treat­ments I’ve re­ceived. As­sis­tance from Medicare and Med­ic­aid saved [...]

Dialysis patients under 65 face major cost hurdle

2022-05-24T14:57:15+00:00May 3rd, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Starting dialysis felt like being swooped into a cage with no warning. At the height of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found out the chemotherapy treatments for my breast cancer had contributed to my kidneys failing and I needed to start on dialysis immediately. The next two weeks were a lonely and frightening experience, and I wouldn’t have survived without my medical team’s quick work and my family’s support. After those initial two weeks in the hospital, I spent three months going through four-hour dialysis treatments three times each week. Something that didn’t pose as big an issue for [...]

Elevating Dialysis Patient Voices Bolsters State Advocacy Victories

2022-04-28T14:57:36+00:00April 27th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage|

As many 2022 state legislative sessions are winding down or have recently wrapped-up, it is a good time to update DPC members on state legislation important to dialysis patients. The participation of our Patient Ambassadors in DPC’s advocacy efforts has been really beneficial in educating legislators to help them make more-informed decisions on legislation that impacts End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. Improving access to affordable Medicare Supplemental Insurance (a.k.a., Medigap) plans is a top priority for DPC, and legislation was introduced in multiple states: Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, and [...]

DPC’s Letter to Daniel Tsai, Deputy Administrator and Director of CMCS

2022-04-22T15:32:15+00:00April 21st, 2022|Categories: Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage|

Daniel Tsai, Deputy Administrator, and Director Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:       Eligibility Redeterminations for Enrollees with Chronic Health Conditions Dear Mr. Tsai: When the Public Health Emergency ends and states resume making Medicaid eligibility redeterminations, up to 15 million enrollees are expected to lose their coverage. We are concerned that as many as one-quarter of those individuals may be receiving treatment for  chronic diseases, and that treatment might be interrupted by a lapse in insurance coverage. We are asking that CMS and the states make a special [...]

Guest: National Kidney Month provides reminder of cost hurdles for dialysis patients

2022-06-01T21:08:23+00:00March 30th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

The month of March marks National Kidney Month in the U.S., an opportunity to bring awareness to something that affects more than one in seven adults, and a chance to reflect on the struggles kidney patients across the U.S. face every day. Currently, kidney patients face an uneven playing field, and a lot still needs to be accomplished in order to ensure that all patients have access to the care they need. It’s an unlevel field that I’ve been operating on for most of my life. I was born with only one functioning kidney, meaning I knew early on that I [...]

Support S 2194

2022-07-08T18:33:17+00:00March 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

March 28, 2022 The Honorable Joshua Miller, Chair The Honorable Bridgett G. Valverde, Vice Chair The Honorable Valarie J. Lawson, Secretary Members, Senate Health and Human Services Committee Rhode Island General Assembly RE: Support S 2194 Dear Chair Miller, Vice Chair Valverde, Secretary Lawson, Members of the Committee: As a kidney dialysis patient residing in Woonsocket, a volunteer Patient Ambassador of Dialysis Patient Citizens and on behalf of the more than 1,800(i) fellow Rhode Island residents with End State Renal Disease (ESRD), I write to ask your support of S 2194, which will provide access to fair and equitable Medicare [...]

HB 430 – Letter of Support

2022-03-08T15:54:59+00:00February 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

February 28, 2022 The Honorable Bart Rowland, Chair The Honorable Derek Lewis, Vice Chair House Banking & Insurance Committee Kentucky General Assembly 700 Capitol Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601 RE: HB 430 - SUPPORT Dear Chair Rowland, Vice Chair Lewis and Members of the Committee: My name is James O. “Hap” Strunk. I am a resident of Whitley City, serve as Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, and also one of the more than 9,000 (i) Kentuckians with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). From my volunteer role as a Patient Ambassador for Dialysis Patient Citizens, I write [...]

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 [...]

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