Renal Care Facilities Get Small 2018 Medicare Pay Raise

October 27, 2017

Published by Bloomberg BNA

Facilities that provide kidney dialysis services will receive a Medicare pay boost of 0.5 percent in 2018, but that is less than what the Medicare agency proposed earlier this year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in a final rule (RIN:0938-AT04) issued Oct. 27, increased payments to end-stage renal disease facilities by 0.5 percent, or $60 million, in calendar 2018 over the previous year. The CMS had proposed a $100 million pay boost. The revision is due to a decreased base rate update factor, the agency said.

As a result of the new payment levels, beneficiary coinsurance payments would increase by approximately $10 million, or 0.5 percent, next year, the CMS estimated. The payment increases will affect 6,750 renal care facilities, according to a factsheet.

The proposed base rate will be $232.37 per treatment, an increase of $0.82 from the current rate of $231.55, but lower than the $233.31 proposed in July. The final rule contains no changes to the durable medical equipment competitive program.

Kidney Care Partners, a coalition of patient advocates and dialysis professionals, said it was still reviewing the final rule but was pleased with the base rate increase.

“We are disappointed that CMS has not addressed the methodological flaws that [the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission] and the kidney care community have identified,” the coalition said in a statement to Bloomberg Law, “but we look forward to working with the Administration to address these issues going forward.”

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