Medicare proposes bundling payments for outpatient dialysis session

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday issued a proposed rule bundling Medicare payments for all services related to an outpatient dialysis session.

The CMS proposed rule would establish a base bundled payment rate of $198.64 and adjust it for case-mix factors such as the patient’s age, gender, body size and time on dialysis.  Additional adjustments would be made for co-existing medical conditions and high-cost cases, as well as geographic differences in labor costs and low-volume facilities. The rule also proposes three quality measures and a conceptual model for a quality incentive program for dialysis services and providers beginning in calendar year 2012. CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule through Nov. 16 and expects to issue a final rule next year.

(SOURCES: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, September 16, 2009; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, http://federalregister.gov, accessed September 21, 2009)