More Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Are Selecting Home Dialysis Due To Change in Reimbursement

On July 27th, 2014 Tribe Live (online news resource) noted an increase in Home Hemodialysis users in recent months. Experts have attributed the shift mostly to changes in how Medicare compensates for Dialysis. In particular, interviewed doctors said the federal program increased reimbursements to cover training for patients who want to conduct Home Hemodialysis. 

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As you may recall, it was only last year that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was seriously considering  a 9.4% cut to Dialysis Services which would also reduce critically important reimbursements for Home Hemodialysis training.

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With the assistance of large Kidney Organizations within the community along with our collective voice, we changed the CMS proposal to not only preserve reimbursements, but in fact increase them by 50%! CMS' finalized 2014 End-Stage Renal Disease budget increased reimbursement per training session by $16.72 to a total of $50.16. Now, due largely to the increased CMS compensations about 8% to 9% of Chronic Kidney Disease patients in the United States who require Dialysis receive the treatment at home which is up from about 5 percent a decade ago, said Dr. Jeffrey S. Berns. 

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In the past, one of the reasons why few Chronic Kidney Disease patients chose to use Home Hemodialysis was "The payment for training is [was] insufficient for the resources that are required," said Joe Turk (President of North American Operations for NxStage Medical). "The change CMS has made is certainly in the right direction, so we're pleased with that," he concluded. 

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You should know that the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that rates of mortality (death) dropped for patients receiving Hemodialysis at their homes as opposed to an In-Clinic setting. It is as a result of your voice that more patients now have access to this Dialysis Treatment option. Also some patients suggest that they save on "gas" because they do not have to commute to and from their Dialysis Centers. What's more, some patients note having "more energy to exercise," and feel "more in control of their health." 

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References: 

"More Patients Take on In-home Dialysis Due to Compensation, Yearly Savings." TribLIVE.com. Trib Total Media, Inc.

"CMS Boosts Pay for Home Dialysis Training," http://www.medpagetoday.com/. MEDPAGE TODAY.