President Donald Trump in July signed an executive order overhauling kidney disease care, including directives focused on awareness, prevention and treatment of the disease.
Kidney disease, which Trump described as a "core national priority" in remarks made before the signing ceremony July 10, was the ninth-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2016. That same year, Medicare spent $113 billion to cover people with kidney disease, including end-stage renal disease, representing more than one-fifth of its spending.
Much of Trump's executive order focused on kidney transplants, since transplants cost less than prolonged dialysis, Trump said.
Under the executive order, HHS is tasked with increasing access to available organ transplants, expanding reimbursement for living organ donors, encouraging development of artificial kidneys and launching an awareness initiative for the disease.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar will also select a payment model that creates incentives for kidney transplants and home dialysis.
In accord with the executive order, the CMS on July 10 launched five new payment models to encourage home dialysis and kidney transplants, four of which are voluntary.
The proposed required payment model, dubbed the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Model, would adjust certain Medicare payments to providers and clinicians based on home dialysis or kidney transplant rates.
That's in contrast to the current Medicare payment system, which encourages in-center hemodialysis as the default treatment for patients beginning dialysis, the CMS said in a statement announcing the new models.
Greater use of home dialysis will help to "improve the quality of life" for kidney disease patients, Trump said in his remarks.
"Our new system will ensure that more patients undergoing dialysis can do so from the comfort of their own home," Trump said. "And doing this from the home is a dramatic, long-overdue reform."