By Jackson Williams, Director of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel, Dialysis Patient Citizens Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) thanks everyone who completed its 2018 Patient Survey. It is another way to make your voices heard. We use our patient survey to get your input on current issues and to convey your opinions to policymakers in Washington, DC. This year, our survey included questions on two recent developments in Washington: Medicare’s “Meaningful Measures” Initiative: In early 2018, Medicare officials announced plans to reduce the number of quality measures it uses to hold health care providers accountable. This meant that for dialysis care, the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) was due to undergo changes. We surveyed patients on [...]
Print out the flier The DPC Education Center has a new, easy way to help you learn! We are kicking off National Kidney Month with a brand-new course titled, "Sepsis and Kidney Disease." With this free, online mini course you will learn about sepsis, including its causes and symptoms, and how to get treatment for this potentially devastating and life-threatening condition. Explore topics by watching videos, reading articles and participating in online activities. Go at your own pace as you learn what sepsis is and what actions to take. Be an advocate for your health, and get started today!
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 chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. In fact, [...]
During the webinar, the following points will be covered: Background on the benefits of regular physical activity and exercise relating to kidney function. The impact current research is showing on exercising in helping to slow down kidney disease progression. Strategies for getting started with a new exercise routine, along with tips to keep you motivated! Presented by Collette Powers, MA, RDN, LDN, ACSM EP-C, Renal Dietitian
For almost 50 years, hemodialysis has extended lives of people with chronic kidney disease. But when a patient first learns that their kidneys have failed and dialysis is necessary to survive, it can be a jolting overture of mortality. These patients usually have lived for years with diabetes or hypertension – diseases onerous for their medication regimens and lifestyle constraints. Adding dialysis, a four-hour, thrice-weekly therapy, can easily push patients into depression if they don’t already have that diagnosis. With this backdrop, researchers report today that two treatments, cognitive behavioral therapy (counseling) and the drug sertraline, effectively reduce depression among people undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “Sertraline was slightly more [...]
By Julie Crandall, CBCS, CMAA, Patient Ambassador, DPC Education Center Board Member How was it to grow up with end-stage renal disease (ESRD)? Since I didn’t know any other way; for me, it was normal. I can tell you that in my case, my family was the most important people that helped me navigate childhood. It helped that they didn’t treat me like the ‘sick kid’ of the family; I was a daughter and a little sister. I didn’t know what to focus on for this article. It was difficult to narrow down my childhood with ESRD and dialysis to write this article. I hope that what I chose to focus on will help others. [...]
By Collette Powers, MA, RDN, LDN, ACSM EP-C We have all heard it, and we all know it. We have been told from our doctor, a friend or a loved one. Whether it is for controlling high cholesterol, managing weight, reducing blood sugar or keeping our bodies healthy overall, we have all been told at some point we should exercise. But did you know exercise may help protect your kidneys too? Fatigue is a common struggle that many patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) face. When we are tired, our instinct is to rest. However, over time, that “rest” can lead to a very sedentary lifestyle, which has many downfalls when it comes to [...]
By Megan Hashbarger, Director of Congressional and State Relations, Dialysis Patient Citizens This past November, America held its 2018 midterm elections. We call it a midterm election because it is held between the four-year cycle of Presidential elections and is often seen as a reflection of the country’s temperament towards the President’s agenda. This cycle saw big wins for Democrats but also some solid victories for Republicans. While Democrats picked up over 40 seats and retook the majority in the House, Republicans held on to and increased their majority in the Senate. The only thing clear now is that for at least the next two years, we will have a divided government with Republicans controlling [...]
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking for volunteers to participate in the All of Us program, which is a research initiative that tracks the health of U.S. participants. The initiative is not centered around a specific disease or population. Instead, it is intended to accelerate research and improve a large assortment of health conditions by evaluating the impact of lifestyle, environment and biological makeup on health and disease. Participants may elect to help by filling out surveys, sharing electronic health records, getting a physical, sharing fitness tracker data, providing blood and urine samples, and more. The hope is that the combination of patient empowerment policies, technology and cutting-edge research will set the stage [...]
By Elizabeth Lewan, Communications & Grassroots Program Coordinator at the American Psychological Association Having a sick parent can be scary and stressful, especially if there are long hospital stays or physically intense treatments. Having a parent diagnosed with a serious health condition, like kidney disease, can seem especially frightening if you don’t know how it will affect your family. It is estimated that one in seven adults have chronic kidney disease.1 Your parents, doctors and family members can help you get through this tough time. Here are some tips to help you manage your feelings: Prepare for change. You may notice changes with your family and home as your parent spends more time at hospitals [...]
February is American Heart Month. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with kidney disease? Furthermore, you are more likely to develop heart disease if you have kidney disease. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease and kidney disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have these conditions. To lower your risk: Watch your weight Have your blood and urine checked Manage your blood glucose if you have diabetes Control your cholesterol Keep your blood pressure below 140/90 Be active for 30 minutes on most days and eat healthy Take medications as prescribed Quit smoking and stay [...]
During this insightful webinar, help to better prepare your family for transplant care by learning: Who will need help after the transplant surgery What type of help may be needed Who can help meet those needs Presented by: Lara Tushla, Transplant Social Worker at Rush University Medical Center
The DPC Education Center just launched a new and fully-responsive website, making it easier than ever for dialysis patients, family members and healthcare professionals to get informed and lead healthier lives. Check out the website today at: www.dpcedcenter.org Education Through Empowerment
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 take multiple drugs to decrease the chances of the body rejecting the donated organ. [...]
By Elizabeth Lewan, Communications & Grassroots Program Coordinator at the American Psychological Association Parents want to make sure their child has a healthy and happy life, but sometimes a health complication can change things. Having a child diagnosed with pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) can leave parents feeling overwhelmed, anxious and scared for their child’s overall well-being, especially in the beginning. However, you can play an active role in your child’s care and treatment by providing the emotional support he/she needs and educating yourself about kidney disease and its treatments. Below are some tips that parents and caregivers may find helpful as they go through this journey: Understanding the diagnosis and treatments. News of your [...]
Most people make and break resolutions every year. 80% of people fail New Year Resolutions by February. Learn happiness habits instead that can change your attitude and your health on a daily basis. About the Presenter: Steve Wilson, a member of the DPC Education Center Advisory Council, is an author, psychologist, trainer and business consultant. He is also the founder of the World Laughter Tour, which trains people in laughter therapy across the country as it promotes health, happiness, and peace.
There are airport screening resources available for people with disabilities and/or medical conditions that are planning to fly. These resources include: Contact information for TSA Cares where you can ask questions and express concerns related to airport screening Information about connecting with a Passenger Support Specialist and/or customer service manager at the airport (Note: the level of assistance will vary) Enrollment information for TSA Pre✓®, which may result in shorter lines and wait times at the airport Additional information about what to expect during the airport security screening process if you have a disability or medical condition A link to download and print out TSA’s Disability Notification Card Click here for more information.
Shopping online for holiday gifts this year? Consider supporting DPC Education Center through AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to the DPC Education Center without added cost. The DPC Education Center is dedicated to empowering kidney disease patients through education, with continual collaboration from health professionals. Support the DPC Education Center