State Kidney Programs Provide Valuable Help to Those with Kidney Disease

This blog post was made by Beth Witten, MSW, ACSW, LSCSW on December 14, 2017.
State Kidney Programs Provide Valuable Help to Those with Kidney Disease

Currently we are only aware of 13 states that have state kidney programs that help those with kidney disease who meet their eligibility guidelines. Eligibility guidelines vary from state to state, and although the programs generally cover some of the costs of care associated with kidney disease and treatment, specific covered services vary from program to program. Programs generally state that they are the “payer of last resort.” This means that if the patient has coverage from any other source, payment from that source must be sought first.

Below is a list of known state kidney programs with their names, contact numbers, and a summary of covered services as of November 2017. You can click on the name of the program to read more about that program, its eligibility guideline, covered services, and how to apply. If there are other programs we’ve not listed or if anything is listed incorrectly, please add or correct the information about any program in the Comments.

Program Phone Number Coverage for Eligible Patients
Alabama Kidney Foundation (205) 934-2111 Provides financial help for daily living needs and transportation for those on dialysis and with transplants
Arkansas Kidney Disease Commission (501) 686-2806 Provides financial help for dialysis and transplant patients for up to 3 prescriptions per month with a small copayment and some dental services, especially for those awaiting transplant
Delaware Chronic Renal Disease Program

(302) 424-7180

(800) 464-4357

Provides financial help for dialysis and transplant patients' Part D drugs and nutrition supplements, and transportation
Illinois State Chronic Renal Disease Program (217) 785-2867 Provides financial help for the cost of dialysis in a dialysis clinic, in a hospital outpatient clinic, or at home
Maryland Kidney Disease Program

(410) 767-5000

(866) 253-8461

Provides financial help for dialysis in a freestanding dialysis clinic or Maryland-certified hospital for the first 3 months of dialysis, Medicare deductibles and coinsurance, physician fees, copays for drugs on its list, transplant immunosuppressants, home dialysis equipment, supplies, and services
Missouri Kidney Program

(573) 882-2506

(800) 733-7345

Provides financial help to dialysis and transplant patients for drugs on its drug list, including immunosuppressants through a contracted pharmacy; for Medicaid spenddowns and Ticket to Work Health Assurance program premiums; limited financial help for recipient or donor and premiums for recipient whose premium was previously paid by another (e.g., American Kidney Fund); limited financial help for dialysis and transplant patient transportation.
Nebraska Chronic Renal Disease Program (402) 471-0925 Reimburses share of costs for drugs on its drug list for dialysis patients; financial help for dialysis at a dialysis clinic, outpatient hospital, or at home
New Jersey End Stage Renal Disease Patient Assistance Program (201)-240-0059 Reimburses dialysis clinics for approved patient medications and nutritional supplements for eligible patients
Pennsylvania Renal Disease Program (800) 225-7223

Provides financial help for dialysis services; renal transplantation; medical management; inpatient and outpatient service; home dialysis supplies and equipment; medications; and limited patient transportation.

South Dakota Medicaid for People with Chronic Renal Disease (605) 733-3495 Provides financial help for dialysis treatments (inpatient, outpatient or home); hospitalization (transplant operations); supplies, equipment, and water softeners necessary for home dialysis; prescription drugs necessary for dialysis or transplants; travel expenses to/from renal treatment
Tennessee Renal Disease Program (615) 741-3159 Provides financial help to dialysis patients for Up to $120/month of total cost of renal-related drugs and nutritional supplements on list; 1 month of in-center dialysis services during Medicare waiting period for those without health insurance or TennCare; Medicare coinsurance for up to 6 out-of-state transient dialysis treatments; Medicare Part A and B premiums for those not getting Social Security benefits; up to $500 in dental services/year; case management and other services provided by the Renal Disease Intervention Program
Texas Kidney Health Care (800) 222-3986 Provides financial help for dialysis treatments; dialysis access surgery; drugs; travel to health care visits; Medicare premiums
Washington State Kidney Disease Program (360) 725-1243

Provides financial help for dialysis access surgery, lab, x-ray, hospitalization; physician fees; dialysis (HD and PD); drugs on drug list and nutrition supplements; insurance premiums; cost of home helper including training; Medicare deductible and coinsurance; pre-transplant/post-transplant dental; transportation for dialysis or physician visits or lodging/meals for home training; some interpreter services

Wisconsin Chronic Disease Program (608) 266-1865 Provides financial help for Inpatient and outpatient dialysis and transplant treatments; one pre-transplant dental examination, and X-rays; kidney donor transplant-related medical services; certain prescription drugs; certain home supplies; certain lab and X-ray services

Some programs require a patient to apply through social worker at the dialysis clinic or transplant program. Dialysis or transplant social workers or financial counselors usually know if there is a state kidney program in their patients’ state of residence and what the program’s eligibility guidelines are. State kidney programs can provide much needed help to eligible individuals on dialysis and with transplants, so they can more easily afford to follow their treatment plans.


  • Beth Witten

    Jun 08, 2020 7:38 PM

    The DaVita website has instructions for PD catheters.

    If your husband has Medicare, dialysis clinics are paid a "bundled payment" for each dialysis treatment that includes the equipment and supplies needed to perform dialysis, support services from your nurse, dietitian, and social worker, as well as some drugs and labs. I'd suggest you refer your clinic to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 11, which describes equipment and supplies that every dialysis clinic should provide for home dialysis patients. Gloves are specifically mentioned. Although not specifically mentioned, the disinfecting solution and antibiotic used on the exit site should be provided by the dialysis clinic too.

    I'd double-check with your nurse about how you're supposed to use bleach. I don't believe it should be used on your PD exit site. Disinfectant wipes (bleach or other) can be used to disinfect the surface where you set up your PD supplies and the outside of your PD machine. Patients buy these. They're hard to find in grocery stores in my area. You might try drug stores or even hardware stores.

    So far as a supply cart, although it may be easier to have your supplies in a cart, some patients may have a different way to keep what they need together. Amazon has a 3-drawer supply cart for $34. You might find a used one that you could disinfect on eBay or at a store that sells used items. Make sure your nurse and social worker know that you have limited means. They may be able to suggest something else.

    If you're on Facebook, you might want to join the Home Dialysis Central FB group. It's a private closed group. You have to answer a few questions to be admitted. Patients get support and questions answered there.
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  • Melissa Morris

    Jun 05, 2020 12:49 AM

    I am writing in reference to the fact that my husband recently started dialysis at a Davita clinic on March 27th 2020 and was offered and approved for ESRD medicare and the opportunity to start the PD at home. They recently informed us that there are supplies that we are required to purchase, such as a utility cart, gloves (which are hard to locate with the pandemic.), and cleansing bleach for the PD sight. I am not sure if there is any assistance that might be available for us being as he only receives $1016.00 monthly and I have recently started to work from home on May 26th 2020 due to losing my job due to the pandemic and very low income at this time. My mother has been helping make ends meet, but that will soon end as she has her medical needs that she needs to attend to. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated as I am at a loss of where to turn to next as I have taken on all the burdens of trying to figure out how we would be able to perform these hurdles in order for him to successfully transition into the Home Peritoneal Dialysis.Thank You in Advance....
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  • Robin Asick

    Dec 15, 2017 5:24 PM

    Great article
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