June 3, 2014

Recently, Blue Cross Blue Shield stopped accepting third party payments for medical premiums in the new health exchanges. This meant that dialysis patients in the state of Louisiana could not use financial assistance from organizations such as the American Kidney Fund (AKF) to subsidize their premium costs. Nearly 2,000 low-income Louisiana dialysis patients rely on help from assistance organizations to maintain their access to health insurance.

May 7, 2014
The United States Department of Justice released information regarding a case in Los Angeles, California where an ambulance transportation company provided false information to obtain of $13 million dollars in Medicare payments. The majority of the claims involved services to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, primarily dialysis patients. Non-emergency ambulance transportation was provided to Medicare beneficiaries whose medical condition at the time did not require ambulance transportation and false claims were submitted to Medicare.
May 5, 2014
Medicare loses billions each year due to fraud, error, and abuse. This not only compromises the Medicare Trust Fund, but individual beneficiaries’ future benefits and health are placed at risk as well.
May 5, 2014
Maintaining emotional health can be a challenge for anyone, but is even more difficult for those who have CKD as well as those recovering from a transplant. Most patients experience a wide range of feelings as they adjust to the realities of kidney failure and dialysis. Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders diagnosed among kidney patients. Taking steps to ensure good mental health will not only make you feel better, but will also improve your ESRD treatment or transplant recovery.
May 5, 2014
Medicare’s new care coordination project that focuses exclusively on dialysis patients, the ESRD Seamless Care Organization (ESCO), has been revised and relaunched, with a hoped-for start date of January 1, 2015.
April 2, 2014
This week President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, which contained some provisions favorable to dialysis patients. The primary purpose of the legislation was to stabilize Medicare payments to physicians, but Congress also used the opportunity to stabilize reimbursements to dialysis facilities. A large cut that had been scheduled to take effect in 2016 was replaced by smaller, fixed-amount cuts that afford providers more certainty about revenues in coming years. This new payment formula will encourage providers to renew expiring leases on dialysis facilities and continue to invest in improved kidney care infrastructure. Another provision further delays addition of oral-only drugs to the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Bundled Payment. These drugs, which include phosphate binders and calcimimetics, will continue to be received from your pharmacy until 2024. DPC is pleased by this positive development for kidney care. This could not have happened without the continued visibility of dialysis patients, through your calls, letters and visits to your representatives in Congress.
April 1, 2014

DPC advocates flew to Washington, DC for our 2014 World Kidney Day Fly-in. Twenty-six patients and family members were joined by 19 provider representatives from 24 states. Advocates conducted 94 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. This year, we asked Congress to protect funding for the Medicare ESRD program and to

March 6, 2014
Dialysis Patient Citizens will bring patients and family members to Washington, DC from across the country to speak to their Members of Congress about issues that affect people with kidney disease. This event is planned to coincide with World Kidney Day on March 12. There are many things you can do from home if you aren’t attending the event.
March 6, 2014
Many health plans sold in the new Affordable Care Act health exchanges have much narrower provider networks than consumers are accustomed to seeing in employer-sponsored health insurance. This is because price is such an important consideration in the competitive Affordable Care Act marketplace. By limiting preferred provider networks to practitioners and facilities that offer care at lower costs, health plans can charge lower premiums to consumers. A potential concern for dialysis patients is that insurers might limit coverage to a single dialysis organization, requiring patients in rural areas to travel excessive distances for treatment
March 6, 2014
Summary: Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed regulation ending the protected status of immunosuppressive drugs, in hopes of lowering program costs. The proposal would mean that a patient who received a transplant while covered by private insurance, who subsequently enrolled in Medicare, would have to revisit his or her immunosuppressive drug regimen, giving priority to trying drugs on the Medicare prescription drug plan’s formulary. DPC’s comment letter cited the experience of two DPC members who shared their stories about achieving the appropriate immunosuppressive drug regimen after trial-and-error.

Dialysis Patient Citizens
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