DPC has been hard at work on the state level fighting to ensure continued access to quality patient care, most recently in Alabama and North Carolina. In Alabama, patients fought to maintain Medicaid funding for outpatient dialysis, which the state was considering moving to local hospitals instead, in a potential effort to close the state budget shortfall. Patient advocates quickly took action and contacted their state legislators to encourage alternative revenue generating measures to close the budget gap as opposed to eliminating Medicaid funding. Thankfully, the state legislature responded by passing a budget with new revenue generating policies. The potential elimination of Medicaid coverage for outpatient dialysis would have been devastating for many dialysis patients, many of whom would have seen their drive times for treatment dramatically increase.
In the meantime, some insurers are refusing to accept charity payments of premiums. Insurance companies are preventing organizations like the American Kidney Fund from paying a patient’s insurance premiums. Patient advocates have been especially active in North Carolina advocating for policy makers to reverse these practices. Unfortunately, the legislation intended to prevent this practice was not heard on the floor before the end of the North Carolina legislative session. DPC continues to monitor this important issue and work with our partners in the kidney community to pressure insurers to reverse these policies that are detrimental to dialysis patient care.