It’s Now Easier to Compare Coverage Options and Shop for Medicare Health and Drug Plans For the first time in a decade, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a modernized and redesigned Medicare Plan Finder. The Medicare Plan Finder, the most used tool on Medicare.gov, allows users to shop and compare Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. There are more than 60 million people with Medicare coverage. The updated Medicare Plan Finder also provides them and their caregivers with a personalized experience through a mobile friendly and easy-to-read design that will help them learn about different options and [...]
Thousands of Americans with end-stage renal disease rely on Medicare for their healthcare needs. However, there are some medical services, such as dental, vision and hearing, where Medicare coverage is lacking. If you are on Medicare and need these services, here is a three-page guide that provides free and lower-cost treatment resources. Check out the guide.
The DPC Education Center invites people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), their families and professional staff to join us for our monthly webinars. You can also join by phone or view the recordings online at a later time. The webinars are planned for the fourth Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. Eastern time zone, except for November and December when they will be held during the third week of the month. You can download monthly webinar fliers to share with others and/or register for webinars at www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars. Join by phone by calling 1-877- 399-5186 and [...]
Improvements in Dialysis Care Are Outpacing Other Serious Chronic Disease Conditions – Including Cancer and Heart Failure
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
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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” [...]
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 [...]