Welcome to Kidney Patient News!
Learn About Treatment Options
As a patient you have the right to know about all of the treatment options available to you. Whether you are a new patient or have been receiving dialysis for some time, please take some time to explore the different treatment options available.
- Illinois residents, click on the ESRD Network 10 Treatment Options link
- Treatment Options Brochure
- Treatment Options Poster
- Adherence Brochure for New Patients
- Adherence Brochure for Established Patients
The Renal Network Patient Engagement Learning and Action Network members are inviting all kidney patients, family members and their friends toshare their thoughts and provide feedback by completing a brief survey on our treatment options resources. Help us to create resources that best serve your needs.
Air Travel with Portable Dialysis Machines Made Easier
Home Dialyzors United (HDU) has been in direct talks with the Department of Transportation since the beginning of 2013 regarding travel with portable dialysis machines on airlines. Many home dialyzors have had problems traveling with these machine although the Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination based upon a person’s disability. In the past portable dialysis machines were considered “assistive devices” per the Act (14 CFR Part 382).
We are grateful the DOT entered into fruitful discussions and has issued the Guidance on Travel with Portable Dialysis Machines.
Please view our announce on the HDU Website.
Dialysis Facility Performance Score Certificate
Have you seen this certificate posted in your dialysis facility?
All dialysis facilities are required by law to display this certificate in a public area until December 2013. This current certificate shows how well the dialysis facility was doing in 2011 in the areas of Anemia Management and Dialysis Adequacy. In the sample above, the dialysis facility scored "30 out of 30" while the national average was "29 out of 30." It shows the quality measures used to determine the score. The certificate should be displayed with a second page that explains how the score is used to improve care.
Take it personally by comparing your lab values to the facility scores?
- Do you know what your most recent URR or Kt/V were? Was your urea reduction ratio at least 65%?
- Do you know what your most recent hemoglobin was? What was your ratio of grams per deciliter (g/dL)? Is your range within normal limits? Too high? Too low?
Talk to your healthcare team about how you can improve or maintain your labs.
Keep in the know by looking for next year's certificate?
Each year The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will evaluate dialysis facilities using other factors under the Quality Incentive Program (QIP). The purpose of the QIP is to improve patient care. That means that each year, you will have an opportunity to see how well your facility is doing and how that directly impacts you.
REMEMBER: An informed patient is an empowered patient!
Beneficiary Focused Learning Network (BFLN)
All 18 ESRD Networks participated in the special project and a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) was convened to facilitate the collaborative process. The purpose of this special project was to conduct Learning and Network Activities to maximize existing resources, practices, and data sources across all Networks in order to increase understanding of the ESRD beneficiaries’ view of dialysis care and knowledge of key components of their disease. Several Change Packages were developed as a result of this project.
New KDOQI Guidelines for Diabetes
The National Kidney Foundation has released new clinical practice guidelines to assist kidney doctors and other practitioners caring for patients with diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). To view these and other guidelines and commentaries visit http://www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines_commentaries.cfm.
Medicare Part D
- How to get drug coverage?
- What the drug plans cover?
- Costs for Medicare drug coverage?
- When can I join a health or drug plan?
- How Part D works with other insurance?
- How do I find health & drug plans?
Prescription Medication Assistance Programs
Many kidney patients need help paying for their medicines. Some drug companies give patients free prescription drugs or provide them at a reduced price. Check to see if your medicines are covered by free prescription drugs and if you qualify for help. Ask your dialysis unit or facility social worker for more information or click on the links below.
- www.NeedyMeds.org is a website that provides applications patients can submit to various drug manufacturing companies.
- Partnership for Prescription that offers assistance on more than 150 programs offered by various pharmaceutical companies. http://www.pparx.org/
- Drug company assistance programs http://www.scbn.org/?gclid=CLro07yT2LACFYFo4Aodsw253Q
Medicare ESRD Bundled Payment
To learn more about how the new bundled payment may affect you:
Also visit Dialysis Patient Citizens for more information.
"There's No Place Like Home for Dialysis" Patty Purcell & Lana Schmidt share their experiences of home dialysis in an article appearing in the May 2013 issue of the American Association Kidney Patients Renalife magazine. To view, visit AAKP website at http://www.magazinevolume.com/13748AP/#/26/
Kidney Patient News (KPN) is designed to meet the needs of kidney patients and their families. KPN is sponsored by the Patient Services Department (ESRD Network 9/10) of The Renal Network, Inc under contract to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS). This Web site provides only general information for educational purposes. It does not endorse any specific test, procedure or medication that may be mentioned in the Web site. It does not replace medical or other advice offered by health care providers, professionals or physicians.