A Recent Meeting with CMMI

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am the Director of Public Affairs for Dialysis Patient Citizens. That means I create and coordinate the communications that come out of the DPC office, including the Patient Citizen that is on its way to your mailbox. I also work with our policy team on federal initiatives that impact dialysis patients, including changes to Medicare, the “bundle” and QIP and efforts to make sure all of you can take advantage of new policies put in place through health reform.

Because my work at DPC is different each day, this will be reflected in my blog posts. My posts will be about everything from the latest news on dialysis, to work we are doing here in the office and changes and updates to Medicare and health reform implementation. I hope to keep it relevant, fresh and interesting and I am always open to reader-suggested stories!

To kick things off, I wanted talk about a meeting DPC recently had with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (The Innovation Center or CMMI). The Innovation Center was created to study new ways to deliver better care and reduce costs for Medicare patients, including dialysis patients. The entire kidney care community is working with CMMI on a new care model for dialysis patients that will help to coordinate all the care dialysis patients receive – making it easier for patients and better for providers. At the meeting, several kidney organizations met with leadership from CMMI to discuss the ideas that we had and what was important to patients as they start to plan out this new model. We were incredibly thankful for how closely CMMI listened to our suggestions and concerns and left the meeting feeling encouraged that patient groups will have a substantial say in how this project moves forward.

The new care model would only be a pilot, affecting a percentage of the dialysis population, but if it is successful it can be brought to all facilities across the US. It is in very early stages but we look forward to working with CMMI and the kidney care community on this exciting opportunity to improve care for dialysis patients!

Headquarters for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

If you have input on how you feel your care can be better coordinated, I would love to hear them in the comment box below!


  1. Hey Jessica! I’d like to add that in consideration of new methods, we allow for more frequent blood testing especially potassium and phosphorus. My center tests every week where many centers test monthly. The difference is I get weekly feedback on two VERY important measures that have long-range implications if not controlled properly. I have been in other centers that test monthly and, if you’re “good” in the week before the test, you can “get away” with a good score. That’s not the idea. High potassium over time does damage to other organs, especially the heart. High phosphorus over time decalcifies bones and leaves plaque in arteries. Again, a long-term killer. If the popular method of monthly testing wins out, we patients lose. I’d like to suggest that a careful review of periodic testing be conducted and that we agree on a schedule that maximizes return on costs but doesn’t sacrifice patient health. I know I’ve been bringing this up for a while but I really believe that more frequent testing (rather than less) is in the best interest of patients.

  2. Jessica I always look forward to receiving my copy of the Patient Citizen, not only does it keep me informed on all of the great work DPC is doing on behalf of its members, but it is loaded with educational material aimed at educating, empowering, and improving our quality of life. I sure I can expect the same in your blog postings. The coordination of care for dialysis patients has been an issue I’ve been interested in for some time now; it is great to know that DPC, and the kidney care community, is at the table during the fledging stages of this new care model. I look forward to you updates on the status of the pilot.

  3. Jim Meissner says:

    I’m a 53 year old dialysis patient and have dialyzes for 22 years. For the previous 12 years my dialysis time has been 6 hours and it’s now being reduced to 4 hours at a time when I recently experienced a lengthy dialysis-adequacy related hospitalization. No attempt was made to pre-assess my treatment data and project an initial estimate of reduced adequate dialysis time. I expect a reduction of treatment will make worse a 6 hour treatment which is already inadequate as measured by my medicare Kt/v and URR test results (I am physically large and require proportionately longer treatments. Again this is all occurring at a time when I am hospitalized for the same problems inadequate dialysis has already created.

  4. Hi everyone! I appreciate all of your comments. Just a heads up, CMMI has recently released their new care coordination initiative for ESRD patients which I wrote about in my most recent blog post. If you want to check it out, click the link below!



  1. […] I highlighted last fall, DPC has been busy working with other kidney community organizations and the federal government on […]

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