Individual states have to provide certain basic services under Medicaid, but they also have flexibility in how they structure their plans and set their reimbursement rates. In addition, some states have the authority to determine the need and location for additional dialysis facilities (this is often referred to as certificate of need). Because dialysis patients’ care can be affected by state officials as well as federal officials, DPC members are becoming more active on state issues—ensuring the patients’ voice is heard locally as well as nationally.
Legislation Eliminates Idaho End Stage Renal Disease Program
The Idaho State Legislature passed S. 1326, legislation that eliminates the Idaho End Stage Renal Disease Program effective July 1, 2013. Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) sent letters to the Senate committee where this bill originated, as well as to the House committee with jurisdiction. DPC will continue to pursue other avenues for relief for patients who use this program.
Idaho ESRD Program Update
In January 2012, DPC sent a letter to the Governor of Idaho concerning a report written by the Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations recommending that the state phase out its End Stage Renal Disease Program. This program was created in 1970 to provide much needed financial assistance to ESRD patients in the state. It has been modified since the creation of the Medicare ESRD program in 1972, but it still provides several important financial benefits including assistance paying for transportation to and from dialysis and help paying for some medications. The report recommended that the program be phased out due to the perceived duplication of benefits provided by programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, but DPC believes this program is a last resort for the patients currently enrolled and they may have trouble affording the services otherwise. DPC sent the letter below urging Idaho to restructure the program instead of ending it. We will continue to work with the state to protect dialysis patients’ access to essential care.
Idaho Dialysis Patient Resources
Patient Support and Financial Resources
National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho
Provides financial assistance, transportation and laptop computers for kidney patients living in Utah and Idaho.
#16 Northwest Renal Network
4702 42nd Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
- Adult Programs: Idaho Medicaid Program Health coverage for: people aged 65 or older; blind, disabled; women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer; pregnant women etc.
- Programs for Children: The Idaho Health Plan Coverage: CHIP/Medicaid provides low-cost or no cost health care coverage to eligible children.
- Additional Programs: Access to Health Insurance (AHI) A premium assistance program that makes health insurance more affordable for employees of qualified small businesses.
Health Reform Status:
Exchange: Idaho will run its own state-based health insurance exchange.
Medicaid: It is not known at this time whether the state will expand Medicaid eligibility.