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Statement by Robert D. Foreman, President of The Kidney Care Council, Regarding the HHS Report to Congress 'A Design for a Bundled End Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System'
Date:2/21/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Robert D. Foreman, President of The Kidney Care Council:

"The Kidney Care Council (KCC) supports the findings of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) which in a long awaited report yesterday made clear that the time for a modernized and fully bundled case-mix adjusted prospective payment system for dialysis services is upon us. We could not agree more.

"For too long, the dialysis payment system has languished far behind other prospective payment systems in Medicare and has suffered from a lack of an annual updating mechanism. We are pleased to see the report recognizes the under-funding of the composite payment rate which cites the average cost of a treatment was $162.00 versus a reimbursement of $143.20.

"The report leaves open some details about the bundle's basic design features that need to be resolved for a new payment system to be fully successful. Specifically, the success of the revised payment mechanism will depend largely on the establishment of an appropriate rate at the outset as well as the design of an annual update mechanism. However, we are pleased by the progress and insights in the report and are eager to work collaboratively with CMS and with Congress this year.

"The KCC also applauds the work of those in the Government Accountability Office, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and in Congress in advancing the payment modernization cause. The CMS report is a fitting culmination to more than a decade of thoughtful work by CMS and leading researchers on how best to reimburse care for Medicare's most vulnerable beneficiaries. Congress now has before it a concrete and detailed proposal. Now, let the hard work of making it happen begin.

"The KCC has endorsed payment reform and has taken a collaborative approach to positive change for the dialysis payment system, working closely with Congress, CMS, and patient and stakeholder groups to secure a system that maximizes taxpayer value and promotes high quality care. We believe the expanded prospective payment envisioned in this report will provide stable, predictable reimbursement that will support continued improvement in clinical patient outcomes. To these ends, the KCC will continue working with Members of Congress to enact these long overdue changes this year.

The Kidney Care Council (KCC) is a nonprofit Washington-based health care trade association of eleven renal care companies that collectively provide End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) services to nearly 80 percent of the dialysis patients in the United States. The membership includes large, small, nonprofit and for-profit provider companies. The KCC's mission is to improve patient care through demonstrable improvements in patient outcomes, patient safety, and quality of life measures. The KCC is dedicated to improving quality as well as promoting education so that newly diagnosed patients fully understand this disease and how to slow its progression and reduce complications.


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SOURCE Kidney Care Council (KCC)
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