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Statement by Dr. Edward Jones, Chairman of Kidney Care Partners in Response to CMS Payment Bundling Report
Date:2/25/2008

February 22, 2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment bundling report released earlier this week, Kidney Care Partners (KCP) -- an alliance of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers and manufacturers working together to improve quality of care for individuals with kidney disease and kidney failure -- applauds CMS for issuing its long-awaited report which recognizes the importance of much needed reform surrounding the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program for the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from kidney failure.

Specifically, KCP noted the report's emphasis on the under-funding of the composite payment rate - the prospective payment system used to reimburse for dialysis services, some medicines, lab tests and other services - which cites the average cost of treatment was $162.00 versus a reimbursement amount of $143.20. The dialysis community is the only provider group within Medicare without an automatic annual update to account for inflationary changes. These automatic adjustments account for routine increases in costs of care and services associated with dialysis. The non-partisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended a 1.2 percent update to the composite rate last year, and a 1 percent update this year. Neither update has been passed by Congress to date.

KCP - which includes the nation's leading doctor, patient, nurse, provider, manufacturer and research groups - has been working collaboratively on a set of community consensus principles for payment reform that would ensure an effective bundle by maintaining the integrity of the ESRD benefit. KCP urges policymakers to work closely with the kidney community to ensure that a new system encourages sustainable quality improvements and protects access to quality dialysis care. While we believe the CMS report requires further analysis, we feel s
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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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