Dialysis Patient Citizens News

DPC Responds to Medicare Officials’ Request for Information on Transplants and Home Modalities

January 31st, 2022|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are preparing new initiatives to promote transplant and home dialysis, and asked the public for recommendations. The request came as part of the President’s Executive Orders “to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for people in need of a life-saving transplant and dialysis,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. DPC responded to several elements of the request. Equity in Organ Transplantation – DPC reiterated its position, shared by many experts, that Medicare should supplement payments on behalf [...]

DPC Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case

January 27th, 2022|

DPC filed a “friend of the court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Marietta Memorial Hospital v. DaVita. The case involves a dialysis patient whose employer-sponsored health insurance plan tied reimbursements for dialysis to Medicare prices. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that this constituted illegal discrimination. The employer appealed the decision, which is now scheduled for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 1. DPC’s brief argues that such discrimination circumvents dialysis patients’ right to keep their employer coverage for up [...]

Reminder – Free COVID-19 Tests Available

January 17th, 2022|

In case you weren’t already aware, the federal government is issuing four free at-home Covid-19 tests to every household in the U.S. These are rapid antigen Covid-19 home tests that you self-administer using a nasal swab and get results in less than 30 minutes. Orders will be shipped directly to your home via US Postal Service (USPS), usually within seven to twelve days, beginning the week of January 24th. To order online, visit: https://www.covidtests.gov/. Click on “Order Free At-home Tests” button and it will redirect you to the [...]

New Bill Give Dialysis Patients Certainty and Security

January 10th, 2022|

The last thing that folks living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) should have to worry about is whether they can afford to pay for their treatments. As someone who has been on dialysis since 2009, I’ve met a number of patients who live with a financial burden and uncertainty because they do not have access to Medigap insurance. Thankfully, Congress is working to expand Medigap coverage through a new bill called the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act. This bill would allow patients under the age of [...]

Happy Holidays from DPC

December 17th, 2021|

We want to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday, as well as a safe and healthy New Year. DPC offices will be closed for the holidays starting December 24 through January 1. We also want to take this opportunity to share our list of Top Accomplishments for 2021, which would not have been possible without your support. Thank you again for helping us elevate the dialysis patient voice with policy makers. We are extremely grateful for all of your advocacy efforts, and we look forward to our [...]

Louisiana Kidney Patients Counting on New Care Coordination Bill

December 15th, 2021|

My kidney disease diagnosis four years ago meant a lot of things, including the beginning of many doctor appointments, dialysis treatments, and medications. While these changes keep me alive and well, there are certain areas of care for dialysis patients that are lacking. For starters, I have found myself navigating between doctors to communicate my needs and make sure all of my prescriptions are working together, especially when I first started dialysis. Patients need a coordinated care system to make it easier for their doctors to communicate their prescribed [...]

Support Sen. Young’s Kidney Care Act

November 28th, 2021|

A kidney disease diagnosis is life-changing. It means undergoing hours-long dialysis treatments several times every week, spending more time at doctors' appointments, and completely overhauling how patients live their lives. The stress of that change is only complicated by the fact that for a lot of dialysis patients, the responsibility for tracking treatments, medications and communicating with their nephrologist and primary care doctor and any number of other care providers so that treatments do not overlap or interfere with each other. Sen. Todd Young has introduced a [...]

Letter to the Editor: Medigap expansion bill can address coverage concerns

November 25th, 2021|

Being a nurse practitioner gives me a glimpse into patients’ daily struggles that aren’t always obvious from the outside looking in, like the problems patients face when their coverage suddenly changes, and they can’t afford the medications they need. This is something I’ve particularly noticed for dialysis patients. Since a lot of them rely on Medicare for coverage, they have large out-of-pocket expenses when it doesn’t cover something they need, like actual dialysis treatments (which patients usually need three to four times a week) and medications, since [...]

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2021|

On behalf of Dialysis Patient Citizens Board, staff and volunteers, we want to take this opportunity to give thanks for all of your support in helping to empower patients and elevate their voice with policy makers. Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving.

Readers React: Bill would help dialysis patients under age 65

November 10th, 2021|

Dialysis has involved a lot of waiting since I started it years ago. Treatments take hours at a time, and I’m left waiting for the call to finally tell me that a donor kidney is ready. It simply cannot come soon enough. However, I at least have coverage for my treatments through my wife’s job, in addition to Medicare, which I know is not the case for others. For them, treatments that aren’t covered by Medicare have to be paid out of pocket, and the added costs [...]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Law would make life easier for dialysis patients

November 7th, 2021|

When I first went into the hospital because of a heat stroke a few years ago, I never would’ve imagined it would lead to me starting dialysis. After 19 days in the hospital, I was back just one day after being discharged. Before long, doctors were forced to put me into a medically induced coma while I experienced heart and respiratory failure, which required a tracheostomy to help me breathe. When I came out of the coma, I was already on dialysis. This diagnosis came with expensive [...]

I’ve had a kidney transplant and know these bills will help others

October 30th, 2021|

Before I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease while I was pregnant with my son, I knew nothing about kidney disease. I never would have imagined all the different things that go into treating it, and what it would eventually be like to go on dialysis. Once I did start dialysis in 2016, I found myself in a whole different world. I remember just being overwhelmed learning about it all, and asking myself how I would possibly find a donor as I prepared each day for overnight [...]

Cover the Medigap

October 21st, 2021|

As a dialysis patient, one-time kidney transplant recipient, and a dialysis tech of 12 years, I’ve seen kidney care from just about every angle. I was fortunate to have insurance through my job which meant I didn’t have to deal with the out-of-pocket costs and hassle that sometimes come with Medicare, but that’s not true for everyone. Instead, they rely only on Medicare, and if it doesn’t cover certain costs, they can get stuck with a huge bill. Lawmakers can help change that by passing bills like [...]

TX Kidney Patients Eager for a Transplant Need Medigap Expansion

October 14th, 2021|

It took me two doctors' visits to get a liver transplant. It was a fairly seamless process all things considered, but the medications eventually cost me my only kidney and forced me onto dialysis. Getting a kidney transplant couldn't be more different, Just getting on the list feels like I'm running in circles, with constant tests and never any progress or solution. I've spent years on dialysis, which has changed my life drastically and even cost me a job I loved because I couldn't travel as much [...]

Kidney disease patients need coverage, new Medigap bill

October 13th, 2021|

I’ve battled kidney disease for over half my life, experiencing one failed kidney transplant and 16 years on dialysis — all before my 30th birthday. Fortunately, I’m able to receive full coverage for the cost of the treatments and medications I need to fight my kidney disease. However, I know there are other patients out there who can’t say the same thing. Many dialysis patients struggle to afford the basic care they need since Medicare doesn’t always cover the cost of the treatments and medications needed to [...]

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Review and/or Change your Medicare Health Plan

October 13th, 2021|

As a friendly reminder, the Medicare Open Enrollment period takes place annually from October 15 through December 7. This is your chance to review your current medical and prescription drug plan(s) to take note of any changes in the cost or coverage and, if needed, switch to another plan that may better meet your medical needs, save you money or both. Eligible enrollees have the option to select Original Medicare or opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. When considering Original Medicare, be sure to check if you’re eligible [...]

Dialysis patients need support from lawmakers

October 8th, 2021|

Dear Editor:   This December marks three years in my battle with kidney disease. My kidney failure diagnosis was hard to pin down, and without my husband, I am not sure I would still be here. My diagnosis came with a lot of things you’d expect: many hours spent in doctors’ offices and at dialysis treatment centers. What I didn’t know is that this diagnosis would also eventually put me in the hospital, with medical bills racking up the entire time  Of course, dialysis alone is expensive, especially [...]

Health Management Associates Find Minimal Cost to Enacting Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act

October 5th, 2021|

Updated October 5, 2021 Last week, DPC released a report by Health Management Associates (HMA) detailing the costs associated with the passage of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676), which would require insurers to make Medigap plans available to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65. Health policy experts often criticize Medigap's relief from cost sharing as adding to Medicare expenditures. However, using Medicare cost data from 2017-2019, HMA estimated that extending Medigap coverage to all ESRD patients under the age [...]

New bill offers much help for kidney patients

October 4th, 2021|

For four years, I have served my community as a social worker dedicated to helping dialysis patients. I have seen both the everyday problems kidney patients face and the larger issues with how our health care system handles them. There are a lot of obstacles that require more attention. Many patients on dialysis require trips to centers for treatments several times per week, and major problems arise when patients don’t have transportation to their treatment centers. When patients can’t get to the center, they fall behind on [...]

New bill would help dialysis patients

September 29th, 2021|

While I’ve never been diagnosed with it myself, kidney disease has touched just about every facet of my life. At home and at work, I’ve experienced firsthand just how much it can change a person’s life. From the treatments and waiting for a transplant, to the overwhelming financial challenges that can come with it, dialysis brings its own set of difficulties that are hard to fully understand unless you or someone you love is going through it. Kidney disease runs in my husband’s family, so we always knew he [...]

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