The CMS is bringing its care-coordination and shared-savings model to end-stage renal disease in a program that aims to extract cost savings and improve quality.
The initiative comes one month after the New Year's Day fiscal cliff compromise, which called for $4.9 billion in cuts to dialysis providers.
Under the Comprehensive ESRD Care initiative, healthcare providers will manage a group of Medicare beneficiaries with late-stage kidney disease. And like CMS' accountable care organization program, groups that successfully lower costs and improve outcomes will be able to share in those savings. Participants may also be required to return any losses to Medicare.
Yet the program includes conditions that are different from ACOs, such as the requirement that the provider network include a dialysis facility, a nephrologist and one other Medicare provider or supplier.