Helping Your Patients Live Well on Dialysis

2018-12-12T00:05:16-04:00March 25th, 2016|Categories: eNews, Fact Sheet, Mental Health|

Dialysis is often a stressful and emotional experience. But renal healthcare professionals can help patients improve their quality of life. As a renal healthcare professional, you are understandably focused on your patients’ physical health outcomes. Given that physical and mental health are closely intertwined, you are in a prime position to positively impact a patient’s overall health. Although this information is not new to you, it can still be difficult addressing mental health issues with your patients. Knowing that untreated mental health issues can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for better health, many providers find ways to address these [...]

It’s Time to Open Medicare Advantage Enrollment to Dialysis Patients

2018-12-19T02:12:13-04:00March 10th, 2016|Categories: Costs for Treatment, eNews, Fact Sheet|

In the wake of recent action by CMS to maintain Medicare Advantage funding, the time is ripe to follow up on a recommendation made by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission 14 years ago: repeal the law prohibiting dialysis patients from enrolling in Medicare Advantage. The exclusion of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients from Part C deprives them of the opportunity to access two important benefits: care coordination by a single, accountable entity; and maximum out-of-pocket limitations. ESRD Patients Lack Access to Care Coordination, Resulting in Avoidable Complications As AHIP noted in a 2010 white paper, “health plans provide a life line” [...]

Dialysis Patients’ Guide to the Medicare ESRD Bundle

2018-12-19T02:05:52-04:00March 9th, 2016|Categories: Costs for Treatment, eNews, Fact Sheet|

Medicare is changing how it pays for dialysis, and this is expected to impact your care. These changes started in 2011 and will continue through 2016. This is a guide to what you need to know and what you can do to help ensure you continue to receive quality dialysis care during this transition period. HOW WAS DIALYSIS PAID FOR TRADITIONALLY? Dialysis treatments, injectable medications received in the clinic, laboratory tests and other items used to treat end stage renal disease (ESRD, also known as kidney failure) are paid for by Medicare Part B for most patients. However, before January [...]

Can a Kidney Disease Chef Lose Weight?

2018-12-11T23:26:39-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Fact Sheet, Nutrition, The Kidney Citizen|

By Duane Sunwold I’m a chronic kidney disease (CKD) patient that teaches in a culinary program. That means I’m around food ALL the time, plus the medication I was on caused me to gain an extra 70 pounds. I know managing your weight with kidney disease can be a challenge. Here are a few of the tips I used to help manage my weight. Eating the right types of food was key to losing the weight. That meant I had to embrace my doctor’s and dietitian’s advice. I planned out my 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, and followed [...]

Why DPC Supports Opening Medicare Advantage Enrollment to Dialysis Patients

2019-01-03T17:15:01-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Fact Sheet, The Kidney Citizen|

By Jackson Williams, Government Affairs Director for Dialysis Patient Citizens Would dialysis patients benefit from being allowed to enroll in Medicare managed care plans? Many health policy experts in Washington D.C. admire the leading integrated insurer/delivery systems such as Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative, and view them as models for transforming traditional Medicare. But outside of certain regions of the U.S., most American consumers remain skeptical of private health insurers. Managed care requires trading off retaining your choice of providers that traditional Medicare gives beneficiaries against a chance to receive other benefits. DPC does not advocate that ESRD patients [...]

Treatment Options for Kidney Disease

2019-02-12T11:36:17-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: eNews, Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, Peritoneal Dialysis|

There are many effective treatment options for kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about these options: Peritoneal Dialysis Hemodialysis Kidney Transplantation There is no one treatment option that is best for everyone. There are pros and cons to all three treatments. All of them work—you and your doctor just need to decide which one is best for you. Hundreds of thousands of people today are living well on dialysis or with a transplant. Each of them faced a decision like yours. And everyone who has been there will tell you the same thing: No matter which option you choose, you [...]

Dialysis Diet on a Budget

2018-12-19T01:56:23-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: eNews, Fact Sheet, Nutrition|

With so many food choices available and limited time in your schedule, it can be difficult to select the right food options for your kidney health and for your wallet. Use the following suggestions to help you eat more healthfully at home and on the go, while also saving money. Inexpensive Protein Options Canned tuna (use for tuna salad over salad greens or in a sandwich) Canned salmon (try it on grits, or make salmon croquettes) Eggs (make egg salad served over salad greens or as a sandwich, or try them boiled, deviled, scrambled, fried or poached) Inexpensive fish such [...]

The Gift of Life: A Donor’s Perspective

2019-01-03T17:28:35-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, The Kidney Citizen|

By Joanne Smith On August 11, 2015, I had the wonderful opportunity to provide a fellow human being with a kidney. Growing-up my grandfather told me “giving is a wonderful thing and it makes you feel real good.” He made me realize that when someone is giving something to you, they have the same opportunity to feel “real good.” I learned to be a generous giver, but more importantly to be a gracious receiver. This actually enables others to enjoy the feeling of being generous givers as well. So, please don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members [...]

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

2018-12-12T02:44:03-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: eNews, Fact Sheet, What Causes Kidney Disease|Tags: |

The relationship between diabetes and kidney disease First, to set the record straight, if you have diabetes you will not necessarily develop kidney disease. The fact that you are reading this handout already puts you ahead of the curve, because there are steps that you can take to safeguard against chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. The other leading causes of CKD are: • Hypertension (high blood pressure) • Glomerulonephritis • Cystic diseases • Urologic disease. In diabetics, the body has a hard time producing or properly using insulin. Without insulin, glucose (sugar) remains [...]

Basics of Chronic Kidney Disease

2019-02-12T11:20:49-04:00March 8th, 2016|Categories: Fact Sheet, Hemodialysis, Kidney Transplant, Medication, Peritoneal Dialysis, Symptoms, The Kidney Citizen, What Causes Kidney Disease|

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then removed from your body in your urine. When CKD reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and waste products can build up in your body and cause you harm. In the early stages of CKD, you may have few signs or symptoms, and may only be diagnosed with a blood and/or urine test. In fact, you may not feel sick from CKD up until most of your kidney function [...]