I hope that you are as happy as I am to see that your advocacy has paid off. As KidneyBuzz.com has reported in several articles Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients were at imminent risk of having funds cut for dialysis by 9.4%, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal. Dialysis benefit cuts were certain to hurt all dialysis patients (Home and In-Center) by potentially increasing out-of-pocket costs for ESRD patients as well as cause Dialysis Centers to close or limit access to quality care from Home and In Center Dialysis units.
Recommended Reading: Proposed Cuts to Medicare (ESRD) Program Will Limit Dialysis Patients' Care
After "extensive public comment on the proposed rule," CMS issued a final decision on Friday November 22nd, 2013 that will phase in the 9.4% cuts over "three to four years," reports Reuters. Having the 9.4% cut phased in over several years is the best-case scenario for the industry because it will be countered by growth in the dialysis sector and should not impact patients as heavily.
Just as important, the Medicare agency also said that the new rule finalized a 50% increase to the home dialysis training add-on payment adjustment that is made for both Peritoneal Dialysis and Home Hemodialysis training treatment. This should be considered as great news to Home Dialysis patients who have been advocating for increased training funds to help incentivize and leveling the "playing field" for home treatments.
The final rule will also strengthen the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP), which creates
incentives for dialysis facilities to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes for
CKD and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. CMS Principal Deputy Administrator, Jonathan Blum, suggested, “We are confident that our final policies will continue to improve the quality of care." KidneyBuzz.com would have to agree with this sentiment and encourage our viewers to continue to voice their opinions because as you can clearly see your voice CAN make a huge difference in benefiting this community.
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Deena Beasley, Additional Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by G Crosse. "U.S. Medicare Program Leaves 2014 Dialysis Payments Unchanged." Http://news.yahoo.com/. Yahoo! Inc./Reuters
Kutscher, Beth. "CMS to Phase in Controversial Payment Cut to Dialysis Providers." Http://www.modernhealthcare.com/. Modern Healthcare
"CMS Finalizes Policy and Payment Rate Changes for End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities in 2014." DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services