The extra service and support transplant patients need.

Just as kidney disease can change your life, kidney transplant can bring more change with possible new difficulties. Transplant patients often face social, personal and financial issues in addition to the challenges involved in the pre-transplant process, recovery and a return to a productive, fulfilling life.

To help you or your loved one deal with these challenges, Dallas Nephrology Associates’ transplant-care team in the Dallas-Fort Worth area includes experienced social workers.

Helping patients overcome the challenges associated with kidney transplant.

At DNA, our transplant social workers are a resource for you and an advocate for helping you through the financial, psychosocial and other personal challenges many transplant patients might come across. Social workers are an important, valuable link between you and the various systems and agencies that may also be involved in your care.  This might include insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, as well as many other agencies.

Here are some of the other areas where your DNA social worker, as part of your healthcare team, may be able to help you think through and solve problems.  This can make a positive difference in your life with your kidney transplant.

  • Changes in family life, including marriage issues and your role in the family
  • Goals of care discussions
  • Referral to outside resources
  • Coping with changes and challenges
  • Returning to work and work-related concerns
  • Making the best use of your medication coverage
  • Assisting you with exercise and wellness

Reliable information from our dedicated, knowledgeable social workers.

Working as part of a team, with you as an active member, your Dallas Nephrology Associates transplant social worker can help you live life to the fullest, beginning by giving you accurate, reliable information and answers to all your questions. Get started now with answers to the most common questions transplant patients ask of our social services team:

Where will I be able to get my medicines? How will they be paid for?

Transplant medications, especially immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) drugs are very expensive. Also, the cost of your medications may change each year. You will need to review the list that your social worker gave you when you first met, and be prepared to pay that amount at the time of your transplant. Fundraising is important, and not just because of medication costs.

It is important that you notify your social worker of changes in insurance both pre- and post-transplant if you lose Medicare, your employer health insurance, or Medicaid. Also, it is important to remember that:

  • Medicare coverage ends 3 years after a successful kidney transplant, unless you are disabled through Social Security for another medical reason or are 65 years of age.
  • Social Security considers transplant “potentially” disabling for 12 months following transplant.

If you do not have an employer group health plan in place and you have Medicare, you must get a Medicare Part D plan in place prior to your transplant. Medicare Part D plans are available to people who have Medicare without a “credible” employer group health plan.

If you have a transplant and had your transplant surgery performed at a Medicare-covered facility (and had or retroactively obtained Part A coverage at the time of your transplant), your anti-rejection medications are not covered under Medicare Part D. Anti-rejection medications are covered under Medicare Part B (80%).

If I live out of town, what additional expenses will I have after I leave the hospital?

Transplant recipients who live outside the Dallas area are advised to remain in town for 4 to 6 weeks following surgery so that they can be closely followed by Dallas Transplant Institute (DTI). Expenses you will need to plan for during this time include a place to stay, transportation and food. Some private insurance companies will help with these expenses, but Medicare and Medicaid will not. If you have relatives or friends in the Dallas area, consider staying with them for a few weeks to help keep down your costs.

To pay for these expenses, it is important to raise money ahead of time. There are three organizations that can help you in thinking about raising money for your transplant expenses:

How long is Medicare in effect after my transplant?

Medicare coverage ends 36 months after the month of a kidney transplant. Medicare will continue past the 36 months only as long as you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits or are age 65 or older. Talk to your DNA transplant social worker about Social Security work incentives that can help your Medicare last longer.

What is Texas Kidney Health Care (TKHC) and do I need it?

Texas Kidney Health Care is an organization that can assist you with medication and travel expenses if you have no other insurance coverage. To qualify for this benefit, you must be a resident of Texas and have an annual household income of less than $60,000. If you get employer group health insurance after you receive TKHC assistance, you are responsible for informing TKHC of any insurance changes. You also must inform TKHC of any change in address.

Sometimes insurance changes after your transplant if you were on dialysis before your transplant.  If you qualify, it is important to get TKHC in place before your transplant.  With this, if you lose your insurance, TKHC can assist you more quickly.

If I no longer have Medicare or other insurance, how will I pay for services when I come to the clinic?

Hopefully, the transplant will allow you to return to work and employer insurance will be available. If not, as the patient you will be personally responsible for the costs associated with your care at Dallas Transplant Institute.

Is there a member of the transplant team who can help me find financial assistance if I need it?

Yes: your DNA social worker. Our social workers will provide information regarding resources for financial assistance as well as other concerns that accompany the adjustment to having had a kidney transplant.

Who do I call if I have questions about the bills that I receive from Dallas Nephrology Associates/DTI?

If you ever have questions about your billing statement, you may contact the Billing Representative at DTI or call the Billing Department at 214-358-2300. It is important that you notify us of changes in your insurance so we can avoid billing problems.

Our social workers at DTI hope to meet every patient that comes to DTI.  However, they will not know if and when you are having a problem.  Please reach out to your social worker when help is needed.

For the most efficient, least challenging patient experience for kidney transplant, let DNA’s social services personnel help you. Be sure to seek our social workers’ assistance and guidance every step of the way, while you are on the waiting list, after your transplant, and any time you need help. 

Call Dallas Nephrology Associates at 877-654-3639, or contact us via our convenient online form.