WASHINGTON—Kidney Care Partners (KCP) applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for its foresight in announcing plans to test comprehensive, coordinated care models for individuals with kidney failure.
“We enthusiastically welcome this project, because it takes a step toward allowing Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure the same care model options as other Medicare beneficiaries. While there are still a great number of details to be worked out in this project, we welcome any opportunity for the kidney care community to showcase our commitment to high quality, high-efficiency care,” said Ron Kuerbitz, chairman of KCP. “Just as the community has successfully worked with government officials on the creation and implementation of a new efficiency-focused payment system, we look forward to working with CMS to test new and innovative care models that raise the bar even further by exploring new ways to promote care coordination and to incentivize and deliver high quality and efficient kidney care.”
Acknowledging the complex nature of the CMS model, Kuerbitz underscored the need to evaluate any model for its impact on patients. He also noted that KCP regards the testing of coordinated care models as a priority. Specifically, KCP supports the creation of a program that enables patients in urban, suburban, and rural settings to have access to benefits of integrated care. Further, KCP underscores the importance of allowing providers and physician practices of all sizes, types, and geographies to participate.
The goal of CMS’ model is to improve the care coordination and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), while lowering per-capita Medicare expenditures. More specifically, CMS seeks to determine whether the model could:
- Improve chronic disease management;
- Improve clinical outcomes, including transplantation rates, mortality rates, and disease complications;
- Improve beneficiary experience of care, quality of life, and functional status;
- Improve care transitions;
- Reduce emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions; and
- Reduce Medicare Parts A and B per-capita expenditures.
CMS’s announcement includes a request for application for organizations to participate in testing of the model for a period beginning in 2013 and ending in 2016, with a possible extension into subsequent years.