Dialysis Patient Citizens News

Legislations would provide help for dialysis patients

September 8th, 2021|

I’ve lived on dialysis for 22 years, but there was a time when my kidney disease almost took my life. Through dialysis and a failed kidney transplant, though, I’ve done my best to stay upbeat and am excited to get another transplant kidney soon, hopefully. While it’s been a tough road, I’ve at least had the coverage I need to pay for my treatments. A lot of patients I’ve met only have Medicare, which doesn’t always cover their treatments and medications. Instead, they have to pay out-of-pocket [...]

Dialysis patients need Medigap expansion bill

September 8th, 2021|

It’s been 34 years since my brother donated his kidney to me and changed my life for the better. Now, we do what we can to support dialysis patients in our area and help people better understand just what challenges patients face every single day. For a lot of them, it all comes back to coverage. As a transplant recipient, it’s a major problem that I’ve experienced firsthand. Three years after my transplant, I lost the coverage I had and needed to turn to other plans that [...]

Letter: Bill can ease costs

September 8th, 2021|

Starting dialysis 12 years ago at 28 completely changed my life. I had to begin going to a clinic for the hours-long treatments that dialysis involves, and the treatments, as well as their effects, forced me to end my career as an EMT. It was a difficult adjustment to make, but I’ve at least been fortunate enough to have supplemental insurance coverage through my wife’s work that helps to cover the cost of my treatments. Without that additional coverage, we’d have to find a way to make [...]

Letter: Help for dialysis patients

September 8th, 2021|

Dialysis brings a lot of challenges, but one of the biggest is simply getting the coverage you need. The treatments make it very challenging for patients like me to work a traditional job, which means many of us do not have employer-sponsored insurance and rely on Medicare. If it doesn’t cover a specific medication or treatment, we have no choice but to pay out-of-pocket or get an expensive supplementary plan. That could change with a new bill called the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. It would [...]

New Kidney Care Bills Vital for Expanding Coverage & Reducing Costs

September 3rd, 2021|

Starting dialysis seven years ago was a bit of a rude awakening. I had to accept that my day-to-day life had changed, and that I’d now need to devote significant time each week just to go through treatments. One of the most challenging parts of the process, though, was learning the ins and outs of the healthcare system. It was a difficult adjustment, but I’ve been lucky enough to have coverage that takes care of my dialysis treatments and the medications I need. However, I know through [...]

LETTER: Expand Medigap and help dialysis patients get the care they need

August 29th, 2021|

I was only 19 years old when I was diagnosed with kidney disease. Because I was under 65, Medicare didn’t cover the full costs of treatments and medications throughout my 10 tough years on dialysis, and I was forced to make difficult choices between the care I needed and basic needs like groceries. A new bill, however, the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, would change that by expanding Medigap coverage to dialysis patients under the age of 65. This bipartisan bill would make sure that every [...]

2021 Annual Survey Last Call!

August 26th, 2021|

24 hours remain to complete our survey. Make sure to complete your survey for a chance at one of 10 remaining $100 gift certificates. Our 2021 Annual Membership Survey is live, and it will remain open until Friday, August 27. Your feedback helps to shape our public policy agenda and patient education priorities for the next year. This year we ask that both patients and caregivers take our survey. Rest assured your responses will remain completely anonymous. We only share the overall survey results with state and federal [...]

Dialysis Patients Need Help. A New Medigap Bill is the Perfect Place to Start.

August 24th, 2021|

In 2004 my dad had his first dialysis treatment after flatlining from a heart procedure. We were not sure he would make it through the night as his organs were shutting down, but we were told that dialysis would help and at the time, we wanted to just do whatever was needed to save him. When my dad left the hospital, we were told that his kidneys would require dialysis in the future and his doctors would monitor him. Fast-forward to 2007, and we were informed that [...]

DPC Urges Medicare to Add Resources for Health Equity

August 19th, 2021|

DPC has filed its letter commenting on this year’s Medicare ESRD Proposed Rule, which governs payments to dialysis facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) heralded this year’s payment rules as undertaking new initiatives to reduce health disparities. DPC’s letter critiques these initiatives as insufficient and endorses alternative approaches. CMS is proposing to collect new data on racial disparities, and to stratify quality measures so that facilities serving disadvantaged patients no longer receive QIP payment reductions simply because patients are poor. DPC endorses these moves, but [...]

Action Alert – Support Care Coordination for Dialysis Patients

August 16th, 2021|

The BETTER Kidney Care Act (H.R. 4942/S. 2649) was reintroduced by Senators Young (R-IN) and Sinema (D-AZ), along with Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR), Butterfield (D-N), and Cardenas (D-CA). This bill would enhance access to care coordination services for thousands of patients across the United States currently living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It could also help with services not covered by Medicare such as dental care and transportation. Coordinated care is essential for improving the overall care and health of ESRD patients. Specifically, better care coordination could mean help [...]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medigap Bill A Welcome Change for Mississippi Dialysis Patients

August 12th, 2021|

Kristal pictured with her husband, Ernest Higgins. Photo by Cameron B. Potts My kidney transplant failing in 2017 changed my life. I went back on dialysis for the first time since 2012 and was spending more time in the hospital than I had before. Then, I lost my job and the insurance coverage it provided, and I had to go back on Medicare, which didn’t cover the whole cost of dialysis and forced me to pay up to 20 percent of the cost of my [...]

LETTER: Medigap Expansion is Needed

August 11th, 2021|

To the editor: As someone who has been on dialysis for 23 years, educating other patients and advocating for them gives my job meaning. I get to assist people who have gone through the same challenges I have and help people better understand exactly what life on dialysis is like. Through my work, I’ve seen how many patients struggle with high costs. A lot of patients rely on Medicare, but can have considerable out-of-pocket costs when it doesn’t cover what they need. This is especially true for [...]

Medigap Expansion Bill Vital to Making Treatments Affordable

July 29th, 2021|

Something felt a little off after my daughter was born. I started feeling more exhausted each day after work, and at one point one of my elementary school students even pointed out that I didn’t look well. I had always been perfectly healthy, so I never expected that I’d be diagnosed with kidney disease. But, after a referral to Johns Hopkins for care, doctors started me on dialysis right away. That’s when my long, difficult road with kidney disease began. Shortly after starting dialysis treatments – despite [...]

Letter to the Editor: Kidney disease patients are in need of new Medigap Expansion bill

July 28th, 2021|

As a kid, I remember watching my dad receive his dialysis treatments at home. Kidney disease runs in my family, and tragically it has taken not only my dad’s life, but many others in my family before their time. I received my own kidney disease diagnosis almost 20 years ago. Medical costs are rising and continue to rise for kidney patients, and it is a challenge to overcome the obstacles of what insurance does not cover. However, Medicare doesn’t always cover the cost of care for kidney disease [...]

Bill helps kidney patients get needed coverage

July 21st, 2021|

Starting dialysis in 2016 showed me there are a lot of challenges patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) face. There are major lifestyle differences, and treatments take several hours multiple days each week. While I can do these treatments from home at night, lots of other patients need to make trips to their local clinics, which takes an exhausting toll. One of the biggest challenges for many patients, though, is the cost of the treatments and medications. Over time, those costs get overwhelming and can force patients [...]

It Works When We Work Together – 2021 State Legislature Recap

July 19th, 2021|

Nearly two years ago, DPC expanded its advocacy footprint to establish a state advocacy program to complement our ongoing federal efforts and in response to states increasing their role in health care policy and the delivery system which impacts dialysis patients’ access to quality care. While Congress continues its work through the remainder of 2021, a majority of state legislatures have already adjourned for this calendar year. Forty-six (46) state legislatures hold annual regular sessions and four states (MT, ND, NV and TX) hold biennial regular sessions, [...]

Kidney patients need Medigap expansion

July 16th, 2021|

While my husband was on dialysis, and even since his kidney transplant, getting affordable coverage has felt impossible. If Medicare doesn’t cover something, we have to scramble to afford it, which was a massive challenge given his dialysis treatments got up to $15,000 and medications can cost $3,000 each month. This shouldn’t happen. We need lawmakers to pass bills that make coverage more accessible for patients, like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. It would help make Medigap coverage more accessible to dialysis patients under 65, [...]

Letter: Congress should expand Medigap coverage

July 15th, 2021|

For a lot of patients, starting dialysis means not being able to work anymore. Thankfully, with my job I can work from home when I’m doing my treatments, which has been hugely beneficial in helping me stay employed and get the coverage I need. The situation is very different for a lot of other patients, though, who can’t continue to work and get coverage. Instead, they rely solely on Medicare, which means if Medicare doesn’t fully cover a treatment or medication, they pay big out-of-pocket costs. That’s [...]

Voice of the Reader: Support the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act

July 7th, 2021|

To the Editor: There is a bill which would expand Medigap Coverage to Illinois patients who need it. My story with kidney disease goes back more than 10 years to when my mom stepped in and donated one of her kidneys to me. While that was an invaluable gift on her part, that transplant failed a few years ago, and I was put on aggressive medication that meant I was given a choice between my kidneys and my life. My own struggles have made me want to [...]

Urge Congress to Support the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act!

July 6th, 2021|

Expanding Medigap coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease patients of all ages is a critical step to eliminating financial barriers to care, especially when it comes to transplantation. Congresswomen Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03) recently introduced the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) in honor of DPC founding Board member and our longest-serving president Jack Reynolds. This important bill would guarantee access to Medigap coverage for patients under 65 who suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are already 19 bi-partisan co-sponsors who are [...]

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