Tips for how to speak up and speak out against discrimination in a medical setting Kirsten Weir The receptionist requests two forms of identification from you, yet the White person in front of you required no identification to be verified. A nurse who uses a condescending tone of voice: “you people are all alike.” A doctor who doesn’t listen to you: Having just told the doctor you have knee problems, he recommended that you walk 30 minutes every day. Are they just having a bad day — or is it implicit bias? Implicit bias is an attitude or [...]
Andrea Moore, LMSW, Health Equity Specialist, Quality Insights Renal Network 5 1. Before January 1, 2023, Medicare would pay for a dental exam only for patients who were actively seeking a kidney transplant. Now, the new Medicare dental rule will pay for a dental exam and dental treatment (e.g., dental filling, teeth removal, replacement of teeth, etc.) for patients actively seeking any organ transplant. If you are living with kidney disease--with or without dialysis--Medicare will not pay for preventative care, like teeth cleanings. What this means for you: If you have Medicare and are actively seeking transplant, meaning [...]
DPC’s New Report Card on Medigap Coverage Helps ESRD Patients Understand their Medicare Supplemental Insurance Options
By Kelly Goss, J.D., LL.M., Western Region Advocacy Director If you’re a dialysis patient under age 65 looking to purchase a Medigap plan, DPC’s new interactive Medigap Report Card will help you understand the availability of Medigap coverage in your state. Medicare Supplemental Insurance, or Medigap, is provided by private insurance companies to help Medicare enrollees cover their out-of-pocket “gap” costs – such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles – not covered by Original Medicare. Providing accessible and affordable Medigap coverage is critical to ensuring patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can fully cover the cost of their care, since Medicare [...]
By Mike Guffey, DPC Board Member It is critically important for dialysis patients to be prepared for weather emergencies, especially as we head into the hurricane and winter weather seasons. Patients should have an emergency checklist and a “go” kit with emergency supplies. www.ready.gov is a good go-to site with checklists and contact cards to help your family be prepared. You should gather the information well in advance of any incidents, but it is helpful to review them at the start of each severe weather season. Maintain the kit in a sturdy plastic container and rotate supplies on a [...]
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 [...]
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! [...]
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 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 [...]
Habitat for Humanity has a program called Housing Plus/Aging in Place to help older Americans improve their home living conditions and quality of life. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Habitat assesses and addresses the unique living needs of each person, which may include home repairs, installations of ramps and grab bars, and more. In addition, Habitat connects recipients with other services they need that may address health, isolation, hunger and transportation. Lookup your local Habitat for Humanity to ask about aging in place program availability in your community. Read the full article.
Dialysis patients who are considering whether to pursue a kidney transplant can check out a new resource to help them make that decision. The resource—a guide that was written by patients with End-Stage Renal Disease—provides an overview of the decisions that need to be made when getting a transplant, the rewards and risks involved, and what to expect after the transplant. Patient stories, questions to ask transplant facilities and additional resources are also included in the guide. Download the guide.