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Office of the President, American Society of Nephrology

An unprecedented collaboration between the White House, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Society of Nephrology, and dialysis organizations across the United States resulted in this historic action.

The long push for payment models to cross the silos of kidney care – chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney failure and dialysis, and kidney transplant – continues with newly announced modifications to the implementation timeline of the Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model, often referred to as the voluntary model.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), which creates models and created the ESCOs, has extended the implementation period from March 31, 2021, until December 31, 2021. The effective performance year that was scheduled to begin April 1, 2021 will now begin January 1, 2022.

David White

 

Participating clinicians should begin the application process now.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it is accepting the impact of COVID-19 as a condition for applying for an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances exemption in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 

For the 2020 performance year (PY), Medicare will be using its Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency. To provide additional support to clinicians, the agency is extending the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances application deadline for PY 2020 to Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET.

Ryan Murray

Nearly 50% of US nephrologists are graduates of international medical schools . These individuals provide critical care in our nation’s teaching hospitals and in areas facing critical physician shortages, fight the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines, and conduct pioneering research in labs across the country.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a proposed rule titled “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media” (proposed rule) on September 26, 2020 for public comment. The proposed rule would eliminate “duration of status” as an authorized period of stay for certain nonimmigrant visas (F, I, and J) and replace it with a specific end date and requirement to apply through the U.S. government each year to extend this date.

Anupam Agarwal MD FASN

Health professionals take great pride in our commitment to improving the lives of those we care for. We recognize and accept that our calling involves risk, day in and day out.

This year, facing the challenges, stress, and ongoing burden of a global pandemic, kidney professionals have demonstrated the resolve and focus on excellence that exemplifies our profession.

Physicians, scientists, nurses, advanced practice providers, technicians, and so many others have stepped into unknown territory with grace and courage. We have devised new ways to provide care, taken on additional work with resolve, and shared essential knowledge and insights with peers worldwide.

In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Innovation Center (CMMI) finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model. This mandatory payment model will test changes to care for Americans with kidney disease within a 30%, randomized set of Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure.

The stated goals are increasing patient choice, increasing utilization of home dialysis, and providing greater access to transplantation, options for which the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has long advocated.

Ryan Murray

On April 16, 2020, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) published two notices (NOT-DK-20-023, NOT-DK-20-024) that made a significant and startling announcement. NIDDK announced the Division of Kidney, Urologic, & Hematologic Diseases (KUH’s) will no longer participate in the traditional National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 Program, and will instead participate in a new Institutional Training Program.