CMS proposes big cuts in dialysis payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a proposed rule that would sharply reduce reimbursement for care of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, AHA News Now reported.

Under the proposed rule, payments for ESRD care would be reduced a total of 9.4 percent in calendar year 2014, with a 9.3 percent reduction for hospital-based programs.

The cuts are based on a recent decline in patient utilization of drugs and biologicals to treat ESRD. It includes a 2.9 percent market basket update, a 12 percent cut to adjust for reduced drug and biologicals utilization, and a 0.4 percent productivity adjustment.

As a result, the bundled payment for ESRD care would be cut from $240.36 per dialysis patient to $216.95, reported Nephrology News & Issues. Altogether, the adjustments would result in a $970 million drop in CMS dialysis payments next year, Bloomberg BNA reported.

CMS will continue to pay incentives to ESRD programs to improve quality and patient outcomes, but it is projected those payments will decrease by $26.4 million beginning in 2016, according to Bloomberg BNA.

CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule through Aug. 30.

To learn more:
- read the AHA News Now article
- read the proposed rule (.pdf)
- check out Nephrology News & Issues article
- here's the Bloomberg BNA article