Medicare proposes dialysis pay cut

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 22, 2013

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Proposed 2014 Medicare payments for dialysis facilities would fall 9.4% compared with 2013 rates, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlined in a draft rule July 1.

Nephrologists and end-stage renal disease care facilities expressed concerns about the potential adverse impact of the cut following the release of the proposal. Pay for treatments would fall from $240.36 per service to $216.95 if the proposal were finalized.

“People with kidney disease, among the most vulnerable patients, are disproportionately underrepresented minorities, and such a large cut may reduce access to care and quality of treatment,” said Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, president of the American Society of Nephrology.

In 2011, 365,000 patients on dialysis had Medicare coverage and were treated at 5,600 facilities, according to a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report released in March. Medicare paid $10.1 billion for outpatient dialysis services that year.

The MedPAC report recommended the bundled payment rate for outpatient dialysis services not receive an increase for 2014. The commission found payments to be adequate, as facilities had found efficiencies in care and ensured continued beneficiary access.

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