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News2024-02-25T16:51:25+00:00

Dialysis Patient Citizens News

Letter: Dialysis debt a burden; Congress must act

April 2nd, 2024|

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 [...]

U.S. Rep. Grothman: Save Wisconsin dialysis patients

March 17th, 2024|

Kidney failure changed the course of my life. I began dialysis, the exhausting treatment kidney failure patients need to survive, three months pregnant with my son. I received a kidney transplant, which ultimately failed, and I have been on dialysis for a total of nine-and-a-half years. It’s been an arduous journey. Dialysis costs upwards of $100,000 per year, so most patients rely on some combination of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and charity. I began dialysis as a young adult, so I needed Medicaid immediately, but many others [...]

Indiana Passes Affordable Access to Medigap for Under-age 65 Dialysis Patients

March 15th, 2024|

DPC is pleased to announce that the State of Indiana has passed into law SB 215, which provides three affordable Medicare supplemental plans (also known as Medigap) to Medicare enrollees under the age of 65 – including to patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Senator Kyle Walker (R-IN-31) championed SB 215 in the Indiana Senate. Representative David Abbott (R-IN-18), a kidney transplant recipient himself, championed a companion bill in the Indiana House of Representatives. Governor Eric J. Holcomb (R-IN) signed SB 215 into state law on March [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Applauds Passage of Legislation Securing Affordable Treatment for All Dialysis Patients in Indiana

March 14th, 2024|

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2024) - Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC), the leading advocacy organization for dialysis patients nationwide, today released the following statement applauding the passage and enactment of SB 215 in Indiana. The law offers three affordable Medicare supplemental plans (also known as Medigap) to Medicare enrollees under the age of 65 – including to patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). “We are grateful to see Indiana do right by dialysis patients and provide the patient choice and healthcare coverage that all Hossiers deserve,” said [...]

Abilene Reflector-Chronicle: Letter to the Editor

March 14th, 2024|

Dear Editor, When I served as my grandfather's caregiver during his dialysis treatments, the most frustrating challenge was the difficulty we faced dealing with Medicare. Slow payments and limited access to services were all too common for us, but thankfully we had access to supplemental insurance that helped cover costs. For many dialysis patients, private insurance plays an important role in providing access to care, either as supplemental insurance like my grandfather had, or as a patient's primary insurer in the early days of treatment. For years, [...]

DPC Advocates Make Their Voices Heard!

February 21st, 2024|

DPC’s patient advocates are working hard to make their voices heard through media outreach, by sharing their stories through op-eds and letters to the editor. Coast to coast, patients are letting their local legislators know about the issues that are important to them, and how their votes in Congress affect their lives. Check out the amazing work of our advocates, and if you’re feeling inspired, we encourage you get involved! Learn to how to become a Patient Ambassador and other ways DPC can help you make your voice [...]

The Trouble With Bundles

February 19th, 2024|

This op-ed was written by Jackson Williams, DPC Vice President of Public Policy, and originally published on AMJC's website: www.ajmc.com/view/contributor-the-trouble-with-bundles. Payment bundling is a technique aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing low-value care during a treatment episode.In recent years, it has expanded from prospective payment systems (PPS) centered upon a discrete treatment to encompass broader episodes of care surrounding such treatments. For the most part, policymakers and patient advocates have viewed these bundles as a benign form of cost containment. But a spate of new developments—including evaluation reports [...]

Americans on dialysis need Congress’ help

February 19th, 2024|

When I began dialysis, I took advantage of Medicare, private insurance and charity funding to pay for my treatment. However, I often speak to other patients who do not have access to supplemental insurance and end up being stuck paying the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Paying out-of-pocket for dialysis is simply impossible for most Americans. For years, Marylanders on dialysis could keep their private insurance for 30 months after their diagnosis, which allows them wider treatment options while adjusting to their new normal. However, a [...]

Letters: Dialysis patients need protections

February 15th, 2024|

Dialysis patients often open the mail to find thousands of dollars worth of medical bills they can’t afford. Without the proper insurance, affording dialysis treatment is all but impossible. I began dialysis back in college, so at the time, I took advantage of my mother’s private insurance to cover costs. However, I was kicked off of my mother’s insurance at 26 years old without yet qualifying for Medicare. Suddenly losing private insurance caused significant stress and anxiety in my life, and I know patients who want to [...]

DPC Recognizes Patients and Dialysis Staff as Part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration

February 14th, 2024|

In January, DPC kicked off a year-long 20th Anniversary celebration by recognizing one of our outstanding patient advocates, and thanked dialysis facility staff who go above “the extra mile” to provide exceptional care, even in the face of recent staffing shortages. Gene Blankenship was the recipient of DPC’s inaugural Patient Advocacy Champion Award for his work in advocating for dialysis patients with his elected officials. DPC also awarded its inaugural Dialysis Dynamo awards to Amanda Byrd, AA/CCHT, Alicia Caldwell, RN, CDN, Sean Scearce, PA, and Marcy Stites, RN, [...]

Restore hope to dialysis patients

February 10th, 2024|

Last year, I wrote to you about my journey as a kidney patient after my diagnosis in 2017 and I’m writing to you again to call on Congresswoman Stephanie Bice to protect kidney patients like me. Recently, a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court made weakens protections for dialysis patients by allowing private insurance to lessen coverage and force patients onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month grace period. The problem is Medicare only covers 80% of a dialysis patient’s bill, including mine. Luckily, I’m able to continue working, [...]

Help dialysis patients

February 2nd, 2024|

Americans should not have to fight tooth and nail to pay for lifesaving health care. Yet, this is an unfortunate reality for dialysis patients in America. When I began dialysis, I lost my private insurance since I could not work anymore. Relying on Medicare with little family support, I struggled to pay for my required treatment. Traditionally, private insurance companies cover dialysis for 30 months after starting treatment to ensure patients focus on their health, not their finances. Yet, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could allow [...]

Action Alert – Protect ESRD Patient Access to Private Coverage

February 1st, 2024|

In December, The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act (H.R. 6860) was introduced by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL), Danny Davis (D-IL), John Joyce, MD (R-PA) and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA) to help ensure that  ESRD patients can stay on the insurance coverage of their choice. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision threatens access to private coverage by permitting health plans to carve off dialysis benefits from their networks and impose restrictive terms on patients. This legislation would restore the protections Congress [...]

2024 Advocacy Day – 24 Hours Left to Apply!

January 25th, 2024|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) will host our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Congressional Advocacy Day May 6-7, 2024. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their applications, legislative priorities, and previous involvement in DPC's advocacy efforts. We will hold a training session ahead of our congressional meeting for those participating to explain the process and review our current legislative “asks.” The application period is open until January 26, 2024. We just ask that you tell us a little about yourself and why you think you would [...]

Congress: Prevent Dialysis Patients’ Unnecessary Suffering

January 23rd, 2024|

Kidney failure touches the lives of millions of Americans. Dialysis and transplants are the only treatments for this life-altering disease. I have been on dialysis for 10 years, which has been a physical and mental roller coaster. In the first five years of treatment, I relied on employer-provided insurance. This private insurance provided comprehensive care, including dental and eye care. However, I lost that comprehensive coverage when I transitioned to Medicare. Although I am doing well, it would’ve been tough to start on Medicare at the beginning [...]

Letter: Dialysis patients need Congress’ help

January 22nd, 2024|

As a leader in the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, I see how much financial concerns weigh on the hearts of kidney patients. People become overwhelmed by the out-of-pocket costs of dialysis treatment, and that stress can become too much, worsening health outcomes. We need to make it easier for dialysis patients to pay for treatment. They have productive lives to live – they just need the tools to live them. Private insurance is often a golden ticket for dialysis patients, helping cover most, if not all, [...]

Letter: Protect NH dialysis patients

January 22nd, 2024|

Protect dialysis access To the Editor: All dialysis patients are required to have Medicare as their primary insurer after 30 months from when they start dialysis, but the law has always allowed us to keep our private insurance until then if we wanted. Now, a Supreme Court decision from 2022 may allow private insurers to reduce coverage of many life-saving dialysis services. Keeping coverage after starting dialysis provides stability during a very difficult time. After this ruling, dialysis patients may have to worry about the hassle of [...]

Letter: Give dialysis patients a hand

January 21st, 2024|

Dear editor, My father, Bill Robinson, passed away 10 years ago from complications related to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Yet, he lived a relatively full, healthy and active life. Dialysis allowed him to continue living and working for 10 years. As his primary caretaker, I saw firsthand the problems afflicting kidney patients. I witnessed many patients struggling to pay for life-saving treatment, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Luckily, my father had private health insurance to cover the costs of his treatment. [...]

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