Pay-for-performance finalized for Medicare dialysis facilities

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 10, 2011

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a final rule to provide the framework for adjusting Medicare payments to renal dialysis facilities based on how well they meet or exceed performance standards for quality measures.

The rule, issued on Dec. 29, 2010, establishes the scoring methodology the agency will use to rate physicians' quality of dialysis care and establishes a sliding scale for payment adjustment based on a facility's performance. Dialysis facilities that do not meet or exceed performance standards will be subject to a payment reduction of up to 2%. Physicians and facilities will be evaluated for the payment period that ran from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2010, and will be given the opportunity to review their scores and payment adjustments before they are released publicly, CMS said.

The end-stage renal disease quality incentive program was mandated by Medicare legislation in 2008. Nearly 350,000 Medicare beneficiaries are being treated for the disease, at a cost of nearly $9 billion each year, according to CMS.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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