CMS boosts payments, incentives for dialysis centers

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Medicare payments to providers that offer outpatient maintenance dialysis treatments will increase 2.5% in calendar year 2013, regulators said.

As a result of this increase, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expects that Medicare payments to the 5,633 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities in CY 2013 will total $8.7 billion, according to a proposed rule announced Monday. Additionally, the rule offers stronger incentives for improved outcomes achieved through the ESRD Quality Incentive Program.

The proposed rule comes as nursing homes are increasingly adding dialysis centers to their facilities.

The enhanced quality measures proposed in the rule would evaluate the quality of life for people with ESRD. Facilities will collect data on the management of a patient's anemia; the reporting of infection events to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; monitor abnormalities in phosphorous and calcium levels; and conduct surveys on patients' experiences with care.

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