Rep. Van Drew, please help dialysis patients

2024-05-03T13:59:53+00:00May 2nd, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

At 20 years old, I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure. Two years later, I began receiving dialysis. I was employed upon diagnosis, but lost my job before beginning dialysis. I began dialysis on Medicare. Since Medicare only covers 80%, and my disability income disqualified me from Medicaid, I could not cover the remaining 20%. I went deep into medical debt just to survive. Six years of dialysis, a kidney transplant and 15 years later, I can now say that I am out of debt. I became a nurse, received an MBA, worked hard, and [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Issues Statement on Passing of Congressman Donald Payne Jr.

2024-04-24T20:19:10+00:00April 24th, 2024|Categories: Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, News, Policy Issues, Press Release, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care|

Rep. Payne Received Dialysis Treatment and Supported DPC Advocacy Efforts WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2024) - Today, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) Board President Andrew Conkling issued the following statement on the passing of Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ). Rep. Payne received dialysis treatment, advocated for better care and insurance coverage for dialysis patients, and spoke at a DPC advocacy event in Washington, DC. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman Payne, who was a true friend to Dialysis Patient Citizens and a tireless advocate for dialysis patients across the country,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “Despite [...]

DPC Seeks Information on Patients’ Experience With Itching

2024-04-24T16:12:21+00:00April 24th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Increase Quality of Care, Innovation, Medicare Advantage, Treatment Options|

A couple of years ago, a new drug was approved to treat ESRD-related pruritis. Medicare approved an additional payment for the drug Korsuva for a period of 2 years. But, because of the short expiration date, very few nephrologists prescribed the medication, so even fewer dialysis facilities dispensed the drug. As a result, Korsuva never took hold to become the standard of care for pruritis. We’d like to know (1) Have experienced pruritis? (2) If so, did your clinicians tell you about Korsuva? We would like to convey patients’ experiences as we ask for Medicare to revisit coverage: what it’s like [...]

Support the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act

2024-04-17T16:07:38+00:00April 16th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

To Whom It May Concern, Like many patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) – or kidney failure – my diagnosis came as a shock. About a decade ago, I went to my doctor feeling ill. I discovered that my kidneys were failing and I had to get on dialysis, the costly but life-saving treatment which replaces my kidney function. I have been on dialysis ever since. My healthcare journey has been difficult, and many ESRD patients like me deal with financial challenges as a result of the diagnosis, too. I did not have health insurance upon beginning dialysis, so [...]

Poor care? Blame Medicare payments

2024-04-16T15:09:10+00:00April 14th, 2024|Categories: Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Patient Stories in the News, Staffing Shortages|

My husband Raymond and I met on a blind date. Three months later, his kidney unexpectedly failed, and I have walked alongside him on his patient journey ever since. My husband’s life depends on dialysis, the treatment that does what his kidney can’t do. Unfortunately, we confronted problems with our dialysis center that reflect larger trends caused by insufficient reimbursements from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Our nation is confronting a demographic crisis, with fewer working-aged people and more patients, which is why we are seeing worsening shortages of health care workers. CMS’ reimbursements have been far [...]

Letter: Congress needs to act to restore protections for dialysis patients

2024-04-15T16:08:31+00:00April 11th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

In the United States, dialysis treatment should be affordable. Unfortunately, inadequate coverage for dialysis often plunges patients into debt. Dialysis should not bankrupt you. In our system, Americans on dialysis almost always wind up using Medicare. Since Medicare only covers 80% of the bill, patients must figure out how to cover the remainder. I was on dialysis for 10 years, and I received a kidney transplant in 2018. I was forced to stop working when I began dialysis, but my mother’s private insurance covered my bill. Private insurance helped me immensely; however, a recent Supreme Court decision may give private [...]

Congress must not leave kidney patients behind

2024-04-16T15:10:00+00:00April 9th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

I have chronic kidney disease. Thankfully, my kidneys are still functioning, but they are at risk of failure any time. I became a dialysis patient advocate because I may eventually have to withstand the difficulties that come with dialysis in America. I am fighting for my future and for the future of all dialysis patients in America. I am concerned with a recent Supreme Court decision that allows private insurers to essentially push new dialysis patients off of their private insurance and onto Medicare soon after beginning treatment. This puts the health and well-being of those already fighting a monumental battle at [...]

Reimbursement rates for health care professionals needs to be increased

2024-04-15T14:49:54+00:00April 7th, 2024|Categories: Dialysis Funding, Medicare Advantage, Patient Stories in the News, Staffing Shortages|

As a patient with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, I know how health care workforce shortages can affect patients. I have been on dialysis for 7 years. At the clinic where I receive dialysis – the life-saving treatment which replaces my kidney function – any staff shortage can mean the difference between a smooth treatment and chaos. America is facing a historic health care workforce crisis. Staffing challenges and high demand have led to gaps in care like longer emergency room wait times. Unfortunately, Medicare is failing to address inadequate staffing and care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid [...]

Letter: Dialysis debt a burden; Congress must act

2024-04-12T19:20:23+00:00April 2nd, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

We Americans with kidney failure must accept the fact that we will be in medical debt for the rest of our lives. To pay for dialysis treatment, some patients keep working and use private insurance. Others live in states that supplement the other 20%. For me, although I have my husband’s private insurance, we still owe thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. I was a single mom when I started dialysis ten years ago, and money has always been tight. I have not been able to pay much more than the minimum payments on my medical debt. For patients just beginning dialysis, [...]

DPC Celebrates 20th Anniversary

2024-04-24T16:16:22+00:00April 1st, 2024|Categories: About DPC, Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care|

Since our founding 20 years ago, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) has had the privilege of working with amazing advocates to help elevate the patient voice with policy makers to improve their quality of life. At our upcoming Advocacy Day Conference, May 5 – 7, 2024, we are excited to: honor the incredible work of our patient advocates; thank key Congressional Champions; and recognize some of our kidney community allies. Advocates from across the country will also take their stories to Capitol Hill to advocate for additional patient protections. To all of our patient advocates, family members, care partners, and kidney community [...]

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