In an effort to reduce Medicare’s expenditures and improve outcomes for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has announced an updated opportunity to test a new model of payment for ESRD services. Under the Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC) Model, “ESRD Seamless Care Organizations” – comprised of health care providers and suppliers – will assume clinical and financial responsibility for all care provided to a group of ESRD patients. Similar to other CMMI initiatives – like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the ACO Shared Savings Program – CMMI hypothesizes that the CEC Model will lower costs and improve outcomes for ESRD patients through comprehensive care coordination. Participating organizations that succeed in lowering costs and improving patient outcomes will share in the financial savings.
ESRD “Seamless Care Organizations” (ESCOs) should be comprised of Medicare-certified dialysis facilities (including facilities owned by large dialysis organizations (LDOs), small dialysis organizations, hospital-based facilities, and independently owned facilities), nephrologists and/or nephrology practices, and other Medicare enrolled providers and supplies are eligible to apply. CMS anticipates selecting approximately 15 ESCOs. The deadline is June 23, 2014 for LDOs and September 15, 2014 for non-LDOs.