Time is running out: Dialysis patients need Congress to act

2022-10-27T16:37:39+00:00October 26th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are the inalienable rights which our government was created to secure. Thomas Jefferson famously penned these words when authoring the Declaration of Independence, but nearly 250 years later, those rights are at risk for dialysis patients thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling. This June, in Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan v. DaVita Inc., the high court sided with a private insurer that was being sued for limiting its coverage of dialysis to 30 treatments. The court ruled the plan wasn’t discriminating against kidney disease patients, as the 30 treatment threshold applied to [...]

Open Enrollment Period – a good time to review your health insurance coverage

2022-10-26T18:20:12+00:00October 16th, 2022|Categories: Article, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, News|

Medicare Open Enrollment began October 15 — and will remain open through December 7, 2022. Medicare’s Open Enrollment period gives people with Medicare the opportunity to make changes to their health plan or prescription drug plan, pick a Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare (also referred to as Medicare Part A and Part B). Medicare plans can change their offerings and costs every year, and individuals’ health needs can change from year-to-year, too. Now is the time for people with Medicare to review their coverage options and make a choice that best meets their health care needs. The open [...]

Send lifeline to kidney dialysis patients

2022-10-11T13:07:20+00:00October 11th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

At 21, I was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, which meant my kidneys were failing. Until my diagnosis, I was completely healthy, in the middle of nursing school and working full time. The onset of this disease was the beginning of a series of hospitalizations, surgeries and dialysis treatments. I began dialysis while I waited for my kidney transplant. I needed these treatments not only to live, but so I could finish nursing school and eventually return to full-time work. One of the biggest challenges beyond my health issues was insurance coverage. This problem could potentially worsen for dialysis patients with [...]

Equal Justice Remains Elusive for Kidney Patients. Congress Can Help.

2022-10-04T15:04:41+00:00October 4th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Four simple words sit above the entrance to the Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” That short phrase, though, carries immense weight. It is a promise to the American people that we will receive fair treatment in our justice system, and serves as a principle to guide people in power. For dialysis patients – who already face massive health disparities – it’s a promise that might go unfulfilled following a Supreme Court decision earlier this year that could open the door for health insurance companies to discriminate against them. In Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan v. DaVita Inc., the Court ruled [...]

DPC Engaging State Policy Makers During Summer Months

2022-09-20T17:40:42+00:00September 20th, 2022|Categories: Article, Medigap Coverage, Promote Financial Security|

While most state legislatures are adjourned during the summer months, DPC’s state advocacy program, under the leadership of Eastern Advocacy Director Elizabeth Lively, is focused on keeping the dialog moving with state legislative policy makers. The critically important issue of affordable access to Medigap coverage for under age 65 individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) remains under discussion in a number of states during the summer months. Kentucky DPC is meeting with our legislative champions, the health plans and our coalition partners to prepare for the 2023 re-introduction of comprehensive Medigap legislation that was debated in 2022 (HB 430). This [...]

Kidney patients need Congress’ help

2022-09-09T18:52:59+00:00September 9th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

I know we can count on Congressman Carlos Giménez to support this important legislation. I’ve dealt with health issues my entire life. I was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which has caused me to have multiple organ transplant surgeries and receive life-saving dialysis treatments. And, in addition to a successful liver transplant, I’ve had two kidney transplants that my body rejected, and I am now on a waitlist to receive a third kidney. In between these surgeries, I receive dialysis treatment, allowing my body to function properly and live my life. On top of the dreaded feeling of high patient volume at my [...]

DPC Continues Outreach to Protect Patients’ Rights

2022-09-20T17:33:33+00:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care, Take Action, Treatment Options|

DPC Members and Patient Ambassadors continue advocacy on H.R. 8594/S. 4750 - The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, which would codify into law the right for dialysis patients to stay on their private insurance for up to 30 months, if they should so choose. This bill not only preserves patient choice but also encourages insurers to detect and treat kidney disease early and, most importantly, protects kidney disease patients from discrimination. This legislation reinstates the importance of allowing kidney patients to decide which health insurance will best serve them. For more information, to watch patient testimonials, or to take action, [...]

Congress needs to protect kidney patients following Supreme Court decision

2022-09-19T16:11:59+00:00August 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

I recently joined other dialysis patients in meetings with Congress to discuss the challenges we face. One of the key topics we covered was how hard it is for patients to get access to the benefits and coverage we need just to survive. Those challenges are about to get much bigger for many patients after a recent Supreme Court decision. The decision could limit benefits and make it easier for private insurers to move patients off their employer-sponsored coverage and onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month point after they are diagnosed, limiting patients’ access to benefits Medicare doesn’t cover for [...]

DPC Responds to Medicare’s Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-20T17:37:03+00:00August 26th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Improve Access to Care, Medicare Advantage|

DPC submitted a comment letter applauding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its announcement that it will cover dental work for kidney transplant candidates when oral health issues are a barrier to transplant surgery. “This proposal is an important recognition and clarification of CMS’s existing authority, which will help to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access and afford more of the dental care they need to advance their health,” DPC said. CMS also asked whether there are “types of surgery, or clinical scenarios involving acute or chronic conditions that would have an improved patient outcome if certain dental [...]

DPC’s Letter to Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator for CMS, on Move Toward Medically Necessary Dental Care

2022-09-15T17:41:44+00:00August 25th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Dental Coverage, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

August 25, 2022 Hon. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re: CMS-1770-P (Section II.L.) Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure: Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) writes to offer its comments on the above referenced proposed rule. DPC's membership, currently over 30,000, 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 are former dialysis patients with kidney transplants. Our volunteer board members have represented [...]

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