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Supreme Court Erases Kidney Patients’ Insurance Protections

2022-06-27T15:36:53+00:00June 22nd, 2022|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Protect Patient Care|

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has nullified the law that protects dialysis patients from discrimination by insurers, threatening the system of financing kidney care that has stood for 40 years. The Court ruled that employer health plans may limit dialysis benefits. For four decades, employers understood the law as prohibiting limitations that only applied to dialysis. Some health benefit consultants encouraged a few small employers to disregard the law by paying no more than Medicare rates for dialysis. DaVita sued them, and one of the cases was appealed to the Supreme Court. The decision means that employers and insurers can impose [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Statement Following Supreme Court Decision in Marietta Memorial Hospital v. Davita

2022-06-21T19:04:08+00:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: Medicare Advantage, Press Release, Protect Patient Care|

WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 21, 2022) -- Following the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Marietta Memorial Hospital v. Davita, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) Board of Directors President Andrew Conkling issued the following statement: “DPC is deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “Congress long ago reaffirmed privately-insured patients’ right to continue on their employer-sponsored plan for 30 months. This played an important role in preserving patient choice and incentivizing insurers to detect and treat Chronic Kidney Disease. ESRD patients are among the most vulnerable Americans and face some of the largest health [...]

DPC Urges Continuity of Care for Medicaid Enrollees with Chronic Health Conditions When Eligibility Redeterminations Resume

2022-04-28T14:53:50+00:00April 21st, 2022|Categories: Article, Medicaid, Protect Patient Care|

Two years ago, Congress mandated a pause on Medicaid eligibility redeterminations during the COVID Public Health Emergency. The emergency declaration is expected to end soon, and states will again require Medicaid enrollees prove their eligibility. As many as 15 million enrollees are expected to lose their coverage, mostly because they have accepted higher-paying jobs, but others may slip through the cracks due to address changes and the like. DPC has written to the federal Medicaid director asking that CMS and the states make a special effort to ensure continuity of coverage for patients with chronic diseases, such as CKD, hypertension, and [...]

DPC’s Letter to Dr. Meena Seshamani, Deputy Administrator and Director for CMS

2022-03-18T14:25:45+00:00March 7th, 2022|Categories: Comment Letter, Increase Quality of Care, Policy Issues, Protect Patient Care|

March 7, 2022 Dr. Meena Seshamani Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD  21244 Re:      Dialysis Workforce Issues Dear Dr. Seshamani: We are writing to express our concerns about shortages of labor and supplies that are causing disruptions in dialysis treatments. We urge CMS and its sister operating divisions in HHS to develop plans for health care workforce generally and dialysis workforce in particular; and to make whatever adjustments are necessary to Medicare payment policy necessary to assure patients’ access to care. To the best of our recollection, the U.S. is experiencing a tight labor market [...]

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 [...]

Don’t Forget to Apply for DPC’s 2022 Advocacy Day!

2022-02-22T21:05:56+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, Take Action|

DPC is pleased to invite you to apply for our 2022 Advocacy Day. Please apply by February 25th. Each year, Dialysis Patient Citizens is excited to host a Congressional Advocacy Day for kidney patients and transplant recipients to meet with their federal legislators and talk about issues that affect their quality of care. Historically, our members have come to Washington, D.C., to meet with their Congressional Members in person. However, we are conducting a virtual "fly-in" in 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure the safety of our participants. We will be hosting our Congressional Advocacy Day [...]

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 [...]

DPC Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case

2022-01-28T15:09:21+00:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Article, Dialysis Funding, Legal Defense, Medicare Advantage, 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 [...]

DPC Advocates Take Congress by Web Storm

2021-09-30T16:44:14+00:00September 21st, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy|

DPC held its annual Congressional Advocacy Day on September 21st, which was another great success! More than a hundred and fifty DPC Patient Ambassadors, Board members, staff and dialysis partners participated in nearly 200 Congressional meetings throughout the day to lobby on two important federal bills that would provide greater financial security and improve the quality of life for dialysis patients: The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) would expand guaranteed issue rights to Medicare supplemental health insurance policies, known as Medigap, to all End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under age 65 in every state. Access to [...]

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. [...]

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