The ESRD Network Coordinating Center will host a December 15, 2021 webinar for patients on Home Dialysis During COVID: Lessons Learned. Topics will include best practices, patient experiences, and patient benefits of dialyzing at home. For details and registration see https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.
The ESRD Network Coordinating Center will host a December 30, 2021 webinar for providers on The Importance of Kidney Transplant and Referral Process During COVID-19. Topics will include the benefits of getting patients on the waitlist, the impact that COVID-19 has had on the referral process, and how a transplant center educates patients during the pandemic. One CEU credit will be available. For details and registration see https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.
The OPTN Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Committees will host a November 23, 2020 webinar on Information for Transplant Candidates about Upcoming Changes to Kidney and Pancreas Policies. These changes are intended to create more consistent access to kidney, pancreas, and kidney-pancreas transplants. The new policies include updates to the definition of medical urgency, and changes to the allocation of organs and prioritization of candidates, which will be based on distance rather than regions. Organs from Alaska will be allocated based on distance from Seattle.
MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has published a post on Insurance 101 for Dialysis Social Workers. The objective is to help assure that people with Chronic Kidney Failure avoid inaccurate advice that can be very costly. The complexity is remarkable – even insurance experts should review the article for anything they may have overlooked. Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/367-insurance-101-for-dialysis-social-workers. It may be particularly useful as we approach the 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
Just a few examples:
You must have paid Social Security taxes for a specific length of time to be eligible for Medicare to cover treatment for chronic kidney failure.
Medicare coverage starts in month 4 for in-center dialysis, but starts in month 1 for home dialysis.
Medicare part A is free, but it’s Part B that pays for dialysis, and it’s not free.
If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B or D when you’re first eligible for part A, you’ll pay a lot more for them.
A few of the terms and acronyms that complicate matters: work credits, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, primary payer, Medicare assignment, MA, QMD, SLMB, COBRA, QHP, ACA.
CMS has released information about the long-awaited ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model, which “aims to test whether greater use of home dialysis and kidney transplantation for Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD will reduce Medicare expenditures, while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished to beneficiaries with ESRD.” The newly published information includes: