The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a proposed rule that would increase payment rates to about 5,300 dialysis providers by 1.8% in calendar year 2012. This rate increase is part of the bundled prospective payment system put in place for CY 2011.

The rule also proposed improvements to the End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program. The agency estimates that payments to ESRD facilities in 2012 will be $8.3 billion. The payment rate is based on a market basket or inflation increase of 3%, minus a projected productivity adjustment of 1.2%, CMS said.

In addition, CMS says it is making a policy change in conjunction with a recent Food and Drug Administration dosing guidelines for anemia-fighting drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.

This proposed rule comes as nursing homes are increasingly adding dialysis centers to their facilities. CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until Aug. 30. Click here for more information.