Dialysis Patient Citizens News

Help dialysis patients

May 7th, 2024|

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), commonly called kidney failure, changed my life. I was first diagnosed with kidney disease in 2014, and my kidneys totally failed in 2020 after a battle with covid-19. I relied on dialysis, the treatment which replaced my kidneys' blood-filtering function, from 2020 until August of 2023 when I received a kidney transplant. As an ESRD patient advocate lucky enough to have received a transplant, I feel obligated to call on Congressman French Hill to help future dialysis patients afford lifesaving dialysis care. [...]

Support the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act

May 6th, 2024|

Kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), affects Americans of all ages. I was 14 years old when I received my diagnosis. I’ve been on dialysis for many years and have received two transplants in the process, but perhaps more stressful than dialysis has been paying for all my healthcare expenses. I’ve relied on private insurance for much of my ESRD journey. After my second transplant, I had private insurance that proved essential once my transplant failed and I needed to stay in the hospital. I eventually [...]

Letter: Medicare failed us

May 6th, 2024|

As a program coordinator for the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, I have made it my life’s mission to help kidney patients manage their condition. I see or hear stories of the inadequate standards of care currently practiced at clinics, hospitals and specialist practices in this country. Many patients I talk to are frustrated and feel like they have been forgotten. We must do better. The problem lies in the lack of health care workers. A severe lack of funding makes it more difficult to hire and [...]

Pass Restore in ‘24

May 6th, 2024|

Becky's daughter Dianne relied heavily on her insurance coverage that paid to treat all of her complications and extended her time with her two children. Becky's story is why Congressman Mike Kelly is fighting for the entire kidney community to ensure access to coverage for all dialysis patients. Thank you Rep. Kelly for your efforts to Pass Restore in '24. Learn more about Private Insurance Coverage and view the video.

Rep. Van Drew, please help dialysis patients

May 2nd, 2024|

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 [...]

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

April 24th, 2024|

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 [...]

DPC Seeks Information on Patients’ Experience With Itching

April 24th, 2024|

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 [...]

Support the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act

April 16th, 2024|

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 [...]

Poor care? Blame Medicare payments

April 14th, 2024|

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 [...]

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

April 11th, 2024|

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 [...]

Congress must not leave kidney patients behind

April 9th, 2024|

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 [...]

Reimbursement rates for health care professionals needs to be increased

April 7th, 2024|

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 [...]

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 [...]

DPC Celebrates 20th Anniversary

April 1st, 2024|

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. [...]

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, [...]

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