Improvements in Dialysis Care Are Outpacing Other Serious Chronic Disease Conditions – Including Cancer and Heart Failure

2019-03-04T15:07:33-04:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Diagnosis of Kidney Disease, eNews|

Improvements in dialysis care are outpacing outcomes for other chronic disease conditions, improvements that allow patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) to live longer lives – and yielding substantial savings to Medicare – according to a new fact sheet created from the health care consulting firm Discern Health, which analyzed United States Renal Data System (USRDS) data. An analysis of the USRDS data set by Discern Health reveals that, although ESRD patients are among the most complex and costly Medicare beneficiaries to treat, improvements in dialysis care have led to improvements that translate into larger gains in patient survival than other [...]

Scientists Hope to Eliminate the Need for Anti-rejection Drugs After an Organ Transplant with Experimental Procedure

2019-01-23T12:46:34-04:00January 22nd, 2019|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Kidney Transplant, Medication|

A patient who received a liver transplant decreased his anti-rejection drugs from 40 to one (with the hope to eventually eliminate all anti-rejection medications being taken) with the help of doctors and an experimental procedure, as published this week by The New York Times. The procedure involves training the immune system of the patient receiving the organ into not attacking the new organ by manipulating white blood cells from both the organ donor and the recipient and later reincorporating those cells into the recipient. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Anti-rejection Drugs In order for organ transplants to be successful, patients must [...]

Dialysis Patients Looking to Quit Smoking May Be Eligible for Free Counseling Sessions

2019-01-08T16:38:37-04:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Early Intervention, eNews, What Causes Kidney Disease|Tags: |

Smoking cigarettes can damage your kidneys. Quitting smoking may help your blood pressure, which can lower your risk for having heart attack or stroke. Individuals with high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may have chronic kidney disease). Medicare Part B covers up to eight counseling sessions centered around quitting smoking during a 12-month period. Make sure your healthcare professional is recognized by Medicare and accepts Medicare’s payment. Visit Medicare’s website for more information.

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period: October 15 – December 7

2018-11-19T03:52:16-04:00October 20th, 2017|Categories: Costs for Treatment, eNews, News & Events, Treatment|Tags: |

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and are enrolled in Medicare, you most likely have Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital insurance and Part B covers medical insurance. Most people with ESRD are not currently able to get Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, which combines Parts A and B (and sometimes Part D). Part D is a prescription drug plan.  It is a separate plan that people with ESRD can purchase to help pay for outpatient prescription drugs. If you have Original Medicare Part A and Part B, you do not have [...]

New Report Highlights Statistics on Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States

2018-11-19T04:10:54-04:00May 5th, 2016|Categories: Costs for Treatment, eNews, News & Events, Treatment, What Is Kidney Disease|

A recent report assessing chronic kidney disease in the United States offers statistics on the condition that affects almost 14 percent of the U.S. population. The data, compiled by researchers at the University of Virginia, focuses on prescriptions used by chronic kidney disease patients with Medicare Part D. “This report is a one-stop shop to try to understand the prevalence of kidney disease, how it’s being treated and how the burden affects various populations,” said researcher Rajesh Balkrishnan of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “If we can identify which treatment modalities are working and how they’re used and link [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Report Identifies Positive News on Kidney Disease in the US, Yet Challenges Remain

2018-12-11T01:34:08-04:00February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Dialysis, Early Intervention, eNews, Kidney Transplant, Stages of Kidney Disease|

The annual data report from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) reveals both positive and negative trends in kidney disease in the United States. Positive news includes fewer deaths among kidney patients and an increasing use of home dialysis treatments. Ongoing challenges include increasing medical costs for dialysis treatment and an overall increase in the size of the dialysis population. Highlights from the report include: Fewer deaths were reported among dialysis and kidney transplant patients in 2013, dropping by 28 percent and 40 percent, respectively, since 1996. Prevalence of end-stage kidney disease—the last stage of chronic kidney disease when the [...]

Financial Coverage for Peritoneal Dialysis

2019-02-12T10:31:39-04:00February 4th, 2013|Categories: Costs for Treatment, eNews, Peritoneal Dialysis|

There are several options to pay for your dialysis treatments including insurance through your employer or other private health plan, Medicare, Medicaid and through military health programs. The Medicare program was designed to be available to anyone who was born in the US, a permanent and legal resident for 5 years, or the spouse of an individual who paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.  People with end stage renal disease (ESRD) or those who needed a kidney transplant regardless of age (as long as they met the residency requirements) qualify for Medicare. Some individuals are considered dual eligible [...]