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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

trongly that any changes to the payment methodology for dialysis services under the Medicare ESRD program do the following:

-- Ensure that patients continue to have access to safe and high quality care.

-- Include a continuous quality improvement initiative that rewards providers and physicians who attain certain quality benchmarks or demonstrate substantial improvements in quality over a period of time.

-- Include an annual inflationary adjustment that will account for increases in the cost of providing care to dialysis patients.

-- Encourage innovation in the treatments and services provided, including removing obstacles to providing clinically beneficial services, new technologies, pharmaceuticals, and products to patients that may be currently available and proven efficacious, but are not within the existing composite rate services.

-- Ensure that all dialysis modalities are appropriately and adequately funded.

-- Establish correct treatment goals to avoid the over-utilization or under-utilization of items or services.

-- Reflect the full cost of providing dialysis care and account for the cost of items or services not currently available and that are additive to the services covered by the composite rate.

-- Establish an ESRD Advisory Committee that will work with the Secretary of HHS to ensure the appropriate design and implementation, including issues such as cost report reform and periodic review of the payment system.

KCP recognizes that bundling of payment is inevitable to achieve comprehensive reform of Medicare's ESRD benefit, though stresses caution over the importance of being especially attentive to the details so that the benefit is not disrupted in any way.

We look forward to working closely with Congress and CMS to ensure that the necessary safeguards and structural program reforms are in place before bundling is implemented. Hundreds of thousands of Americans
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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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