Medicare moving to PPS system for renal care

A new report by CMS suggests that the agency is moving closer to creating a prospective payment system for dialysis centers serving patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The report, which was delivered to Congress last week, suggested that improvements in how Medicare pays the centers could actually benefit patients.

At present, ESRD is one of the few remaining types of care that Medicare doesn't pay for with a prospective payment system.  Right now, Medicare still pays for ESRD services, which are usually delivered on an outpatient basis in free-standing and hospital-based facilities based on a composite rate. The report proposes establishing a base treatment payment rate for a bundle of dialysis treatment services. Ultimately, CMS may have no choice but to move ahead with this plan. The president's budget for fiscal 2009 contains a proposal for implementing a fully-bundled PPS system for ESRD beginning January 2011.

To learn more about Medicare's plans:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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