Rumors Circulate That CMS Will Delay Dialysis Star-Rating Program

Published by Inside Health Policy
John Wilkerson
August 29, 2014

Industry lobbyists say they hear that CMS will announce, possibly soon after Labor Day, that it is delaying the dialysis star-rating system that has been the target of criticism from dialysis facilities, patients and even the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. They caution that they’ve not heard directly from CMS officials, and when asked whether a delay is in the works, an agency spokesman said only that “we still have no announcement.”

The program is criticized because Medicare already grades dialysis facilities on a separate quality measure program. Many worry that the star-rating program will confuse patients because facilities that get a good score on the existing Quality Incentive Program may get a poor to middling score in the star rating program because it grades on a curve and some of the metrics differ. Industry, patients and MedPAC also complain that CMS created the star rating program without first getting public input.

MedPAC requested that CMS delay the program until it can get public feedback and justify a second-quality measure system.

“If CMS can establish the need for a Star Ratings System for dialysis facilities, the agency should then describe why it believes the measures in the QIP are an insufficient basis for establishing a Star Ratings System,” MedPAC states.

See the original article here.