Antibiotics are supposed to treat disease and assist in kidney transplantation, but various bacteria have developed biological resistance to antibiotics, rendering the antibiotics useless. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year. This is why the Administration is currently taking steps to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is continuing a four-month crackdown on Medicare fraud in New Jersey. CMS has accused ambulance companies of fraudulently billing Medicare for transporting patients to non-emergency dialysis, chemotherapy and wound care. CMS found that these ambulance trips in New Jersey were twice the national average (from 2002 to 2011), and that the number of trips per patient was up approximately 60%. At least 11 ambulance companies report closing in recent months.
If you recently received an unexpected medical bill, you are not alone. The Consumer Reports National Research Center recently conducted a survey which found that nearly one-third of Americans with private health insurance received a surprise medical bill in the last two years. In most cases, patients went to a hospital within their insurance plan’s network, but were treated by a physician who had not contracted with the insurer.
Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) endorses the following six principles to guide formulation of star ratings for Dialysis Facility Compare:
1. Star ratings must use metrics that represent aspects of care that are important to patients. Star ratings should not simply rely upon any information that happens to be available; patient priorities should be ascertained and reflected in the ratings.
The DPC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jack Reynolds will serve as Interim President, effective immediately. Reynolds chairs the Board’s Policy Committee and previously served as Vice President. Few have the firsthand experience Reynolds does, having been on dialysis over 40 years. He took on the new role to allow former President Eric Edwards to take an extended leave of absence.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regularly schedules technical expert panels (TEPs) to advise the agency on quality measures. In the words of CMS, a TEP is “a group of stakeholders and experts who provide technical input…on the development, selection, and maintenance of measures for which CMS contractors are responsible.”
April is National Minority Health Month, an issue of vital importance for dialysis patients since even greater health disparities are reflected in the dialysis patient community. For example, African Americans are 3.5 times more likely to develop kidney failure than non-Hispanic white Americans, Hispanic Americans are 1.5 times more likely and Native Americans are 1.7 times more likely. Asian Americans are also more likely to develop kidney failure.
The 10th anniversary of World Kidney Day (WKD) is here! WKD was started to raise awareness of the fact that 10% of the adult population worldwide has kidney disease.
After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its plans to release the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system, DPC began to discuss with its membership what would make such a rating system successful. The two areas that DPC’s Board Members, Patient Ambassadors and membership all rated highest were 1) staff respect/listening and 2) patient education.