CMS examines inappropriate steering of people eligible for Medicare or Medicaid into Marketplace plans

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a request for information seeking public comment on concerns that some health care providers and provider-affiliated organizations may be steering people eligible for, or receiving, Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits into Affordable Care Act-compliant individual market plans, including Health Insurance Marketplace plans, for the purpose of obtaining higher reimbursement rates. Go here for the whole story. https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2016-Press-releases-items/2016-08-18-2.html

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Dialysis Providers Pay Out Over $2 Billion in Settlements

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

It will probably come as no surprise that most of the major renal care facilities in the US have come under investigation for fraud in recent years, including Fresenius Medical Care America, DaVita Inc. Renal Care Group, Quest Diagnostics, and Bone Care International.

A partial list of settlements paid since 2000

 

Fresenius $250 million Granuflo heart problems and deaths 2016
$82 million Unauthorized claims for Renal care 2011
$19 million Billing for unqualified home dialysis 2010
$486 million Billing fraud, unnecessary labs, kickbacks 2000
DaVita $450 million Wasting medicine to collect the markup/profit 2015
$400 million Kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals 2014
DaVita/Gambro $37 million Kickbacks, unnecessary tests, overbilling 2005
DaVita/Gambro $325 million Kickbacks, overbilling 2004
DaVita/Gambro $53 million Medically unnecessary lab test 2000

 

 

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Dialysis Advocates Presentation on Patient Termination in New York August 1, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

This powerful presentation highlights some of the problems with present Dialysis care in America. Patients are fearful of the quality of care and when they question that care they often face retaliation.

Click on the below link to view presentation.

An Outrage Like No Other aV2

 

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Dialysis Advocates Speaks at 2016 Judicial Violence Symposium in New York

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

Dialysis Advocates was an invited speaker at the Judicial Violence, Race, and Moral Imperative Symposium held July 31 thru August 2nd in Harlem. The Symposium was a gathering of Pastors and Civil Rights Leaders concerned with the current state of Civil Rights in America. Keynote speaker was Danny Glover actor and activist.

Arlene Mullin’s of Dialysis Advocates, powerful presentation on the plight of minorities and the disadvantaged in Dialysis care centers along with the unjust termination dialysis care of these patients was greeted with outrage and shock by those in attendance. Prior to Ms. Mullins presentation a short draft of a future documentary by documentarian Gordon Skinner who has filmed patients’ personal stories of fear and retaliation was very moving. With disbelief of what they were seeing, asking questions and realized that this is real. We now have a National Shout Out to alert Civil Rights Leaders and Activist in their communities Nationwide of the Dialysis

 

March of over a Thousand for Civil Rights July 30th held in Harlem.

march

We were invited to attend the March in Harlem. The photo is of those that are recognized as leaders.

 

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Dialysis patients aren’t the only victims of Blacklisting….Nurses Black Listed Too

Monday, July 11, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

Source: Blacklisting: The dirty side of travel nursing – Nephrology News & Issues

The above source spells out the problem in nursing.

Dialysis patients aren’t the only victims of Blacklisting; a practice where false accusations are used  as retaliation for questioning care or clinics conditions or abuse. These are used against patients to terminate their care; they are then Blacklisted from all of the clinics in their area. Now comes evidence that these same tactics of false information  is used to terminate nurse early from a contract to save money or retaliation or plain vindictiveness.

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UnitedHealthcare Sues Dialysis Chain Over Billing – The New York Times

Monday, July 4, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

The suit accuses the chain of pushing patients out of government programs and into UnitedHealthcare plans, which pay more for dialysis treatment.

Source: UnitedHealthcare Sues Dialysis Chain Over Billing – The New York Times

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CMS 5 Star Rating System Misleading- Not Good for Patients, Clinics or Nephrologist

Saturday, May 7, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

Several recent studies and papers point to problems in the much heralded CMS/Medicare 5 Star rating system which is meant to rate the quality of patient care and overall clinic standing using a Star Rating System with ratings from 1 to 5 stars. Articles written by Medical Staff, Administrators point to this system being generally ineffective in  giving real, workable numbers. The results are used by CMS in determining payments for care and are suppose to allow patients to rate overall care at their clinic using Dialysis Facility Compare.

The problem is that it only takes few wrongly or under or overstated figures to skew the results making them fairly unusable.

Additional stars in the rating system for dialysis facilities may not reflect increases in quality of care, according to an analysis presented at the National Kidney Foundation 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings

A concern of patients and those advocating for them is that clinics may feel pressure to rid themselves of those patient who are lowering their star rating.

 

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Commonly used heartburn drugs may lead to kidney damage: study

Friday, May 6, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

A recent article by Ashley Welch CBS News states.

Long-term use of a common type of medication used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers may lead to an increased risk of kidney disease and kidney failure, new research shows.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, adds to prior research that suggests proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), a group of drugs which reduces gastric acid production, can lead to serious kidney damage.

Click here to read the whole story.

 

Need help, want answers?

 

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250 Million Settlement In Class Action Against Dialysis Clinic Giant

Friday, February 19, 2016 | By William Tinker | No Comments

Fresenius Medical Care has settled a class action suit for Dialysis Patients deaths from use of Granuflo, NaturalLyte a dialysate during dialysis; large numbers of Dialysis Patient were having cardiac arrest or death after receiving these.

The Law Offices of Joseph R. Santoli, Esq. (1-800-279-6996, josephsantoli@aol.com) is reviewing claims nationally for those who’s loved ones died suddenly from cardiac arrest within days or less of receiving either Granuflo or NaturaLyte dialysate additive as part of their dialysis treatment prior to June 27, 2012

Joseph Santoli has worked tirelessly with Dialysis Advocates for the rights of Dialysis Patients

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Nephrology needs more compassion—and less compliance

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | By William Tinker | 1 Comment

This blog post was made by Dori Schatell, MS, Executive Director, Medical Education Institute on May 29th, 2015. It was originally posted on Home Dialysis Central  

Instead of insisting that people must “comply,” offering understanding and compassion may go further toward helping people take on the self-management role that is so vital to long-term success with chronic disease.

At the NKF Spring Clinicals meeting in March, a comment I was told that someone made at the microphone during a session still bothers me months later. The gist of it was: “Why does all of the responsibility for improving outcomes fall on clinicians—where is the patient in all of this?” [Good point, but it goes on…] “I lose money if my patients don’t reach the quality targets. Why can’t we fine the patients if they don’t do their part?—and audience members applauded!

Really?! We really have nephrologists who believe that punishing patients for not “complying” with their orders is going to improve outcomes? It seems that our community may need a refresher course in compassion. Continue reading “Nephrology needs more compassion—and less compliance” »

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