Dialysis Patient Citizens News

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 [...]

Letter to the Editor: Dialysis patients need some help

February 15th, 2024|

Dear Editor: How would you feel if your life-saving medical treatment was out of reach? Well, a recent Supreme Court decision allows private insurance companies to put new dialysis patients in a difficult position by severely limiting coverage in the first 30 months of treatment, even though patients have long been guaranteed full coverage within that time. Congress must act, for the very survival of kidney care in America is at stake. As a dialysis patient myself, I know how difficult paying for treatment can be. In [...]

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. [...]

Letter: Help dialysis patients

January 21st, 2024|

When you start dialysis, which I was on for three years, there is a lot of uncertainty and fear. However, worrying about immediately changing health insurance plans after diagnosis hasn’t typically been a problem for most patients, because private insurance companies had to cover treatments for 30 months before the patient automatically joins Medicare. However, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling last year that could potentially weaken long-standing protections that are essential for dialysis patients. This is highly concerning, because the last thing that new dialysis [...]

Protect insurance for dialysis

January 21st, 2024|

The life of a dialysis patient is one of constant uncertainty. I could not continue working when I started dialysis, as is the case for many other patients. Thankfully, my spouse’s private insurance helped cover the treatment costs. Without private insurance, I would have been on the hook for thousands of dollars. I also could have lost my amazing in-network doctors and the option for at-home dialysis. In short, I would have had a completely different journey through kidney failure. It is critical that kidney patients have [...]

Dialysis patients should not be singled out

January 21st, 2024|

Kidney failure is not a death sentence. With the right healthcare, Americans on dialysis can live energetic, productive lives. Unfortunately, paying for dialysis in America has become a Herculean task. Medicare only covers 80%, and the remaining 20% can cost thousands per year. Private insurance usually covers the first 30 months of dialysis before patients’ transition, by law, to Medicare. However, a Supreme Court decision last year could allow private insurance companies to deny certain treatments to dialysis patients and deplete their coverage during that period. I [...]

Protect dialysis patients from shocking bills

January 19th, 2024|

Last year I wrote to you about the shocking moment when my young daughter was diagnosed with kidney failure. Thankfully, I was able to be her part-time caregiver with the help of our primary physician through her dialysis treatment and the many health challenges she faced. The last thing dialysis patients should worry about is money. That’s why I’m writing to you again to share my concern about a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows insurance companies to weaken health coverage for dialysis patients and push [...]

Letter: dialysis funding

January 18th, 2024|

When your kidneys fail, dialysis is your hope for a better future. But affording dialysis can be a tricky ordeal because Medicare, which all dialysis patients are required to have as their primary provider after 30 months, only covers 80% of the treatment costs. For me, paying the other 20% was hard because, as someone under the age of 65, I had to pay high premiums for my supplemental plan. Unfortunately, paying for the coverage that saves patients' lives is about to become even more difficult. The [...]

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