The CMS is proposing to increase Medicare payments for dialysis services.
Under the proposed rule, dialysis facilities would receive 0.5% or $50 million more in 2017 than they received in reimbursement this year.
At the end of 2013, the last year for which a count was performed, there were 661,648 patients using dialysis services. In 2014, Medicare expenditures for outpatient dialysis services were $11.2 billion, a 1% increase compared with 2013 spending, according to federal data.
The rule is also changing the way Medicare pays for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and other supplies.
As things are now, suppliers submit bids to provide certain medical equipment and supplies to Medicare beneficiaries in certain regions. Medicare uses these bids to set the amount it pays for each item.
Now the agency proposes that bidding entities be bonded by the U.S. Treasury Department for each area they want to serve. The CMS proposes that the bid surety bond be set at $100,000. Surety bonds guarantee a supplier will meet all the obligations of its contract with Medicare, or if it doesn't, the bond will reimburse Medicare for its losses.
The change was mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
Comments on the rule are due Aug. 23.