News2019-01-18T16:52:38-05:00

CMS Makes it Easier for Consumers to Find Prices on Hospital Services

May 11th, 2021|

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule on hospital price transparency that went into effect January 1, 2021. Under a section of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), hospitals are required to publish a list of standard charges each year. Originally, hospitals could fill this requirement just by publishing their chargemaster list (a comprehensive list of all products, procedures, and services provided by a hospital) online; now, however, hospitals are told exactly what they are required to publish, and how to publish it, in order to comply with the PHSA. Hospitals must publish the following five types of charges to a machine-readable file for all “items and services” the hospital [...]

COVID-19 Vaccines for Dialysis and Transplant Patients – What We Know

May 3rd, 2021|

As more and more people in the United States receive the COVID-19 vaccine, researchers have been able to learn more about efficacy rates in different patient populations. Unfortunately, preliminary research suggests that efficacy rates may be lower in both dialysis and transplant patients. In a small study, published April 6, 2021 on CJASN ePress, researchers found that, although study participants on hemodialysis did develop a substantial antibody response following two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, it was significantly lower than the response of the control group comprised of participants not on dialysis. It was also found that older patients, regardless of chronic medical conditions, were more likely to develop less of a response. A [...]

So, You’ve Been Vaccinated. Now What?

April 5th, 2021|

First of all, congratulations! It has been a long and difficult year for everyone, and finally having some protection against COVID-19 feels good. We still have a ways to go though, and since we are still learning about how the vaccines will affect the spread of the virus, it is important that everyone one keeps taking precautions – such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds or poorly ventilated indoor spaces. The CDC has also provided some recommendations to help with decision making in daily activities for people who have been vaccinated. The first thing to consider is if you have been fully vaccinated. People are only considered fully [...]

Fabry Awareness Month

April 1st, 2021|

April is Fabry Awareness Month, which brings attention to a rare disease that affects about 1 in 100,000 people. So, what is it? Fabry is an inherited genetic condition, caused by a mutation on the X chromosome in the GLA gene that leads to reduced levels of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (AGA) in the body. This means that the body cannot break down a certain type of fat, called globotriaosylceramide (GL-3), which then continues to build-up in a way that causes the blood vessels all over the body to become narrowed. This causes damage to tissues and organs, including your kidneys! It affects both men and women, and there are two main forms of Fabry [...]

Healthy Lifestyle May Lower Death and Major Adverse Cardiac Events Risk in Kidney Patients

March 10th, 2021|

It is no secret that doctors advise all their patients to live a healthy lifestyle; eating well, including making sure to get the recommended daily nutrients for your diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and not smoking are beneficial for everyone. However, this is particularly important for patients living with CKD, as they are 10 times more at risk for cardiovascular disease compared with the general public. A new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, has shown that adhering to generally recommended healthy lifestyle choices may lower the risk of death and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) for CDK patients. Adhering to five lifestyle behaviors – having not [...]

Podcast: The Elephant in the Room – Fear & Uncertainty During COVID-19

March 4th, 2021|

At the end of last year, dialysis patients were invited to submit their questions about real-life issues during COVID-19. In this first episode of the new podcast, The Elephant in the Room, experts respond to patients’ letters, including Dale Lupu from George Washington School of Nursing, Liz Anderson, a long-time social worker (both of whom were presenters for the Ed Center’s January 2021 webinar), and a kidney patient with “lived experience” John Brandon Bayton, Jr. You can listen to the first episode of the podcast on Buzzsprout here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1642372/7476073-episode-1-fear-uncertainty-during-covid-19

March is National Kidney Month!

March 1st, 2021|

Your kidneys work hard for you all year long, but this month we give them a little extra recognition and raise awareness about kidney disease for National Kidney Month. This year’s theme is all about taking charge of your health and what goes into managing your kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious condition that affects 37 million people; however, it is often overlooked until symptoms appear. This can put you at risk for serious health complications, including kidney failure, so it is important to know the ways to help manage and slow the progression of CKD. Take charge of your kidney health by following these healthy lifestyle tips: Meet with your doctor [...]

Join Us for Our New Patient Support Group!

February 11th, 2021|

In March we will be launching our first Patient Support Group meeting by telephone. Having a support group has been one of our goals for years and we are happy to announce it is now a reality. We chose to have the group meet by phone instead of online or in a Zoom meeting because we think most everyone has a phone. And we want the support group to be available to all patients at any stage of kidney disease and to their families. On the second Tuesday of each month, at 3:00 pm Eastern, you can call and join in the conversation or just listen during the one-hour meeting. The facilitator for the group [...]

Dialysis Patients and COVID-19: Should I get the vaccine? If I get the virus, should I take the antibody treatment?

February 8th, 2021|

Written by: Alan S. Kliger, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and Co-Chair, American Society of Nephrology (ASN) COVID-19 Response Team. As 2021 unfolds, the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Dialysis patients continue to isolate at home, socially distance from family and friends, use face coverings and precautions traveling to dialysis and in the unit. How will this pandemic end? Many patients have important questions about the new vaccines and about new treatments for the infection. First, some facts about the vaccines: What is a vaccine? An injected vaccine is designed to stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies that attack and kill the virus invading your body. Our immune systems help defend us [...]

Heart Health and How it Impacts Our Kidneys

February 5th, 2021|

While February is usually associated with hearts for Valentine’s Day, it is also American Heart Month, where Americans are encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle choices in order to prevent heart disease. The heart and the kidneys work closely together, so when one isn’t healthy, it can have  an impact on the other. If you have kidney disease, you also are more likely to have heart disease. So, what are some ways you can help your heart thrive as a kidney patient? Eat a heart-healthy diet (think fruits and vegetables, high quality proteins, and avoiding foods that contain high levels of sodium, phosphorus, or potassium). Manage high cholesterol Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity [...]

Black History Month and Kidney Health Disparities

February 1st, 2021|

As many people know, February is Black History Month, and it is important that we take the time to reflect upon, commemorate, and celebrate all the incredible achievements made by African Americans and the impact they have had on the history of the United States. What many do not know though, is the disparity with which kidney disease and illness affects the black community. African Americans comprise approximately 13% of the United States’ population; however, they make up more than 35% of all patients on dialysis due to kidney failure. Additionally, about 4.9 million African Americans over the age of 20 are living with either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. While that may not seem related, [...]

DPC Education Center Board of Directors Elect New President

January 15th, 2021|

Merida Bourjolly was elected as the new president for the DPC Education Center by its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Bourjolly has served as a DPC Education Center Board Member since 2018. “It is a privilege to be selected as DPC Education Center's Board President. I want to thank Nancy Scott for her incredible service as the DPC Education Center's President since it was founded in 2012. I look forward to continuing to work to educate and improve patients' lives in this new role,” said Bourjolly. In addition to Bourjolly's new role as DPC Education Center President, Pius Murray was elected as DPC Education Center Vice President. Get to know the DPC Education Center's Board [...]

Get Active in the New Year

January 12th, 2021|

With 2020 behind us, now is the time to plan your resolutions for 2021. Exercise has been shown to positively impact renal function among peritoneal dialysis patients, and the DPC Ed Center has a free course to help you set and reach your exercise goals. This course explains why exercise is important, how it benefits people living with kidney disease and how you can develop a personalized exercise program that will work for you. By the end of this course, you will be able to: Identify the four components of a well-balanced exercise program Develop a personalized exercise program Identify some motivators for you to exercise Take the first steps to begin your exercise routine [...]

“You Want to Slit My Throat?”: What is a Parathyroidectomy?

December 30th, 2020|

By Keith A. Bellovich, DO and Mirjana Dimitrijevic, MD Parathyroidectomy is the surgical removal of one or more of your parathyroid glands. It stems from the Greek ektomia = "cutting out" which means to surgically remove something from your body. The parathyroid glands are made of tissue slightly larger than a single grain of rice, located around your Adam’s apple that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH) and control the levels of calcium in your body. PTH stimulates the conversion of calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) to calcitriol (activated vitamin D) within kidney tubular cells, which leads to the absorption of calcium in your diet from your small intestines. Most people have four parathyroid glands. Supernumerary (more than four) [...]

A New Look on Life

December 23rd, 2020|

By Michael Ramirez The worst day of my life became the best day of my life. ''Your kidneys are failing," my physician said to me. My first thought, "What does that mean?" My doctor confirmed, "You need to see a specialist." I learned that a nephrologist is a kidney doctor, and that was the type of specialist I needed. I trusted my doctor so I asked, "Who should I see? Who do you trust?" My doctor referred me to his choice of nephrologist—and so I made an appointment right away. If your doctor says you need to see a nephrologist, don’t wait months to make the appointment. Some people will research the different nephrologists in [...]

Are There Living Kidney Donor Registries?

December 11th, 2020|

By Harvey Mysel I’ve often been asked: “Where can I register to get a living donor?” Unlike deceased donation where there’s one national list, (although you can multi-list because some areas have a shorter wait time) there’s no such list for someone looking for a living donor. You must find your own living donor. When you do have someone that is able to be a living donor, many are not compatible with their recipient. Thirty to 50 percent of donor/recipient pairs are not compatible with each other. In such a situation the incompatible donor could still help the person in need by getting involved in a paired exchange. What this incompatible pair needs to know [...]

Make Your Wishes About You (My Way)

December 4th, 2020|

By Elizabeth Anderson, LCSW, DSW and Dale Lupu, MPH, PhD When I was first told I had chronic kidney disease (CKD), I was grateful that there were lifesaving treatments, but I was also scared because I didn’t have a plan. I worried that I might be in pain or become a burden to my family. I felt better when I was able to discuss my desires and healthcare decisions with my family and healthcare team. What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill to express your wishes? Like most people, you may not have thought about it, or you may have a difficult time discussing it with your family and [...]

You Can Help Today

December 1st, 2020|

Support the Dialysis Patient Citizens Education Center We want to take this opportunity to say thank you. As you know, it is our mission to reduce the occurrence and delay the progression of kidney disease. We work to accomplish our goals by: developing unique educational programs to empower patients and increasing public awareness of kidney disease. In fact, with your support, this past year we: Addressed the coronavirus pandemic in March with CDC leading a webinar for kidney patients with over 2,500 live and recorded viewers. It was one of the first in the kidney community for patients and was followed by two more webinars on the topic. Increased average webinar attendance by over 250% and [...]

Having a Kidney Transplant During COVID-19

November 27th, 2020|

By Jewel Edwards-Ashman I started the year 2020 anticipating that I’d enter kidney failure and have to undergo my second kidney transplant. But I didn’t expect to start doing home dialysis and eventually have transplant surgery in the middle of a pandemic. Transplant surgery in ordinary circumstances comes with a high level of stress and anxiety. Having a kidney transplant during a public health crisis only exacerbated those feelings for me. To reduce my stress and manage my emotions, here are three things I did: I prioritized self-care. Most Americans, even those who aren’t living with chronic illness, have been experiencing significant stress this year. News and events surrounding the pandemic, the election and racism [...]

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