The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for the 2021 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Quality Incentive Program (QIP) on July 6. The proposed rule contains some of the nuts and bolts that run the Medicare ESRD program on the facility side. It contains numerous guardrails to protect kidney failure patients and provide them access to the best modalities.
The Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model, also known as the “voluntary model”, is moving forward beginning April 1, 2021 – a delay from the original start date of January 1, 2021 – due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center announced that in addition to delaying the start of the model, the agency will also provide a second window for applications in 2021 for new participants with a starting date for that group of January 1, 2022. Additionally, applicants approved for the April 1, 2021 start date will have the option to delay their start date to January 1, 2022 without penalty or having to reapply. Also covered in this announcement was an extension of the Comprehensive ESRD Care Model (CEC) until March 31, 2021, with financial adjustments for performance year 2020 due to COVID-19. The CEC created the ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) of which there are 33 nationally.
After two months of ASN advocacy, led by the ASN Quality Committee, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today, January 2, 2020, announced adjustments to the proposed Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model’s basic design. The changes were originally called for by the ASN Quality Committee – just after the model’s unveiling – and were intended to correct a design flaw that made it impossible for many nephrology practices in multi-specialty practices to participate.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Department of Policy and Government Affairs team has received numerous questions from interested members on the proposed payment models arising from the Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health, the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) model and the and Kidney Care Choices (KCC) model. This Kidney News Online series aims to share these questions and answers with the broader ASN membership. Please also see parts 1 and 2 of this series for more background information.
You can learn more about the KCC Model of the AAKH initiative by joining a series of webinars being hosted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). CMMI will be hosting a series of webinars to introduce the details of the CMS Kidney Care First (KCF) and Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) Model Options and review the application process, which closes on January 22, 2020. The webinars are:
"The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) welcomes the introduction of the voluntary Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model, and its four kidney care payment options, addressing key aspects of the Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH). This voluntary model will be a true game changer and brings desperately needed, sweeping changes to care for people with kidney diseases. ASN has long advocated for key elements of this model, and I thank HHS Secretary Azar and his entire team for putting forward such a visionary approach for the future of kidney care.
After a long period of consultation with ASN and others in the kidney community, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar, II, yesterday unveiled the four voluntary kidney care payment options of the Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model that are a part of the Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) initiative. ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, calls the AAKH initiative “a true game changer.”
In a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator (CMS) Seema Verma, ASN, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), and the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) laud the Trump administration for its “ambitious agenda for kidney health” and identify five principles the organizations state will lead to “better patient outcomes that should be supported in the proposed ETC Model.”
The President’s Executive Order, issued in conjunction with the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative, calls for new payment models for kidney physicians. Here’s a brief rundown of how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation propose they would work.